In My Mailbox: Week of June 10
In Samantha’s Mailbox:
Author: JW Bull
Received: Via CLP Blog Tours
Synopsis: Maggie Malone wants a new life. Who aspires to be a single, forty-year-old, jobless new mother? Driven by the need for an income, Maggie decides to enter a writing contest. Cooking and Women Magazine is seeking a columnist who can compare finding “Mister Right” to cooking. To qualify, an entrant must be single and an experienced chef. Maggie is neither – she can’t even cook. But desperation turns white lies into tasty morsels that whet her creative appetite and she whips up an article comparing finding “Mister Right” to picking the right tomato for her homemade salsa. She wins the contest, is dubbed The Chef of Hearts, and her new life, although a bit shaky, is launched.
Women across America write to her about loneliness, infidelity, insomnia – even to complain about a boyfriend’s snoring. Maggie dissects their problems with a single stroke of her pen, all the while struggling with her own issues. She dishes out therapy in recipes and funny stories and becomes an instant celebrity. As she balances learning how to cook, being a mother and writing a column, her dual lives begin to spin out of control. On the back burner, subterfuge sizzles in the skillet, threatening Maggie’s new recipe for success and she finds herself in the same stew as many of her readers – lost and alone. It’s only when Maggie comes clean with all her lies that she realizes pickin’ the right tomato might not be simply about finding “Mister Right” – sometimes it’s about making the right choices.
Pickin Tomatoes serves up a three-course meal of mayhem, motherhood and middle age flavored with dashes of irony, wit, and wisdom. Throw in a liberal sprinkling of recipes geared towards those who don’t cook, and Pickin’ Tomatoes becomes a must read for anyone who has searched for “Mister Right” but, most of all, wants to find herself.
Author: Wendy Wax
Received: From Erin @ Penguin Group
Synopsis: Unlikely friends Madeline, Avery and Nicole have hit some speed bumps in their lives, but when they arrive in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, they are all hoping for a do-over. Literally. They’ve been hired to bring a once-grand historic house back to its former glory on a new television show called Do-Over. If they can just get this show off the ground, Nikki would get back on her feet financially, Avery could restart her ruined career, and Maddie would have a shot at keeping her family together.
At least, that’s the plan – until the women realize that having their work broadcast is one thing, having their personal lives play out on TV is another thing entirely. Soon they are struggling to hold themselves, and the project, together. With a decades-old mystery—and the hurricane season—looming, the women are forced to figure out just how they’ll weather life’s storms…
Author: Gina Hummer
Received: Mindi Sue @ Smith Publicity
Synopsis: What would you do if someone like Ryan Reynolds or Robert Pattinson jumped into your car at a stoplight? That’s what happens to Charlotte when out of nowhere, gorgeous actor David King becomes her surprise passenger. Not recognizing him at first, the startled Charlotte’s initial impulse is to mace him. But once she realizes who he is and that he’s making an escape from a crowd of zealous fans, she puts away her pepper spray and thinks what a great story she’ll have to tell her girlfriends! From there, the impossible happens: the two take tentative steps toward romance, and a relationship blooms. But Charlotte is a behind-the-scenes romance writer, and David is an in-the-spotlight and in-the-tabloids celebrity. Could it ever work? Charlotte’s defenses drop one by one. Their age difference doesn’t really matter, and though their realities are worlds apart, they begin to become one. Just when everything seems to be leading to a storybook ending, David’s past intrudes, and Charlotte has to wonder if his romance with fellowstar Olivia Hudson really is over.
In Sara’s Mailbox:
Author: Jackie Bouchard
Received: Jackie Bouchard
Synopsis: The vet handed Maggie Baxter a plastic specimen bag containing a pair of size-tiny lavender thong panties extracted from her dog; but they were not hers. Or rather, they were hers now since she’d just paid $734 to have Dr. Carter surgically remove them from Kona’s gut.
This is how Maggie Baxter, a practical, rule-following accountant, discovers that her husband of seventeen years is cheating on her. All her meticulous life plans are crushed. When he leaves her for the other woman, Maggie and her the-world-is-my-smorgasbord chocolate Lab, Kona, are left to put their lives back together. As Maggie begins to develop a Plan B for her life, she decides to be more like Kona. No, she’s not going to sniff crotches and eat everything that isn’t nailed down; rather she’ll try to approach life with more ball-chasing abandon. Finding herself in situations where she begins to go through her usual over-analysis of the pros and cons, she stops and instead asks herself: What would Kona do? With Kona as her guru, Maggie begins her quest for tail-wagging joy.
“What the Dog Ate” is a funny, tender story of mending a broken heart and finding love and a new life right under your nose, with woman’s best friend at your side. If you enjoyed Claire Cook’s “Must Love Dogs” or Lolly Winston’s “Good Grief,” you’ll love “What the Dog Ate” and be rooting for Maggie and Kona.