Every Blog has a booth and will be hosting their own unique challenge and giveaway! Be sure to click on the banner for the information, or head to any of the host's blogs for more details. Don't miss out! This event is so much fun! For a complete list of all the blogs and their booths click here.
Here at Rainy Day Ramblings, I am hosting the Food Booth. That means all books featuring food as well as a week of delcious recipes. Every day, I will share a recipe for something scrumptious so be sure to check in! I am also reviewing food books for the week! Let's get started with the Food Booth Challenge!
I have a fun food cover challenge for you all today! To enter fill out the form below. Put in the title of the corresponding book cover in the correct box on the entry form. To be eligible to win you must follow Rainy Day Ramblings either by Linky, Facebook, Twitter or email. I will take all the entries that guess all the covers correctly and select the winner via Random Org. What is the prize? How about a $15.00 gift card to Amazon for your book of choice, or you may choose a book up to $15.00 in value at The Book Depository.
I will give you one hint: All the covers were taken from the Food on the Cover List at Goodreads. Good Luck!
Now for those of you who aren't inclined to do the challenge.....shame on you! I will take it easy on you and do a giveaway for a $10.00 Giftcard to Amazon for your choice of book. Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter! Both Giveaways are International and run through May 12th.
Whew! A lot of fun stuff! Are you hungry? Before I get to my food book review, how about I share a recipe with you? Since the book I am reviewing today is all about Pies I decided to share a pie recipe. In the interest of not sharing any copyrighted material. I am going to post a picture and you can click on the link and get the recipe off my Pinterest board.
Today's recipe: Blueberry Crumb Pie Recipe
Here is my review:
Pies and Prejudice (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery #1) by Ellery Adams
When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more. Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.
Mass Market Paperback, 291 pages
Published July 2012 by Berkley Publishing Group
Three and a half stars: A charming book all about pies!
When the elevator doors whisk open to take Ella Mae up to her apartment, she is shocked and horrified to see her husband doing the nasty with two red headed twins in the elevator! Without thinking, she chucks her pie ingredients at the adulterers and flees. She arrives at her mother's door in rural Georgia with nothing but the clothes on her back and her puppy, Chewy. Broken hearted, Ella Mae is looking to restart her life. She was in the process of completely culinary school, but her dreams of cooking in New York are now bitter. Thankfully, her loving and adoring aunts come to the rescue. After one piece of Ella Mae's blueberry pie, it is evident that Ella not only has a gift for baking, but also perhaps a bit of magic. Soon Ella Mae, her aunts and her mother are busy making preparations for Ella to open her own pie shop. But before the doors open, disaster strikes! Ella Mae's long time nemesis, Loralyn, is not happy about her return and she threatens Ella Mae. Shortly after, Loralyn's wealthy elderly fiancé is murdered and Ella Mae's fingerprints are found on the rolling pin that supposedly dealt the fatal blow. Can Ella Mae save her pie shop and clear her name?
What I Liked:
- I am always a fan of of cozy mysteries that feature cute shops and sweets. This one didn't disappoint with the charming pie shop and all the delicious discussions on all things pie. Just reading all the passages about baking pies made my mouth water. I loved that this one featured sweet and savory pies. I was completely charmed by the pie shop and wished that I could spend and afternoon in its cozy confines nibbling on pie, drinking coffee and reading. What a perfect way to spend and afternoon! The best part, after spending the whole book drooling over all the pies, the author includes several recipes at the end. I am dying to try the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie! If you are a fan of cozy mysteries that are all about food, definitely give this series a try!
- I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book had just a dash of magic. I wasn't expecting it, and so I was delighted when I discovered that Ella Mae had a rather unique magical gift. Ella Mae is able to put her emotions into her pies as she bakes them. For instance, her first pie when she returned home was baked while she was sad and grieving her failed marriage. Thus, the pie ended up bringing forth the sadness of lost loves for her aunts while they ate the pie. Later, people who consumed the pies feel joy and lust after eating her pies. I truly loved this bit of magic, it reminded me a bit of a Sarah Addison Allen book, and Sarah is one of my favorite authors.
- Ella Mae's aunts and mother also seem to have their own magical gifts, and I liked learning about each of their special talents. The aunts were also fun, kind and very endearing. I thought they were all terrific secondary characters.
- I was actually pleased that the romance didn't really develop in this one. Ella Mae encounters her former childhood crush, and of course, the old feelings immediately reawaken as she becomes reacquainted with Hugh. There is this scene in the pie shop that just simmers with sexual tension and lust, and it is incredibly romantic since the two are baking pies together. That being said, the romance really doesn't move forward after that scene. The reader is left with a just a sweet little taste of passion, but it doesn't develop into an entire dessert. You are probably wondering why I liked that the romance was just a tease, and I will say because it felt realistic. Ella Mae after discovering her husband was cheating on her is in no position to be jumping into another relationship. So the slow steady building of a romance is very believable.
And The Not So Much:
- While I completely charmed with all things relating to pies and the subtle hints of magic, I was disappointed with the murder mystery. It disturbed the cozy feel good atmosphere that the author had established. Then with any cozy mystery, the murder mystery and the way the main character always gets involved and manages to help solve the case is for me a bit unbelievable. However, I realize that this a cozy mystery and that is what the genre is know for, so I was prepared for the unrealistic parts of the mystery. What bothered me with this one is that it was entirely too predictable. I kept looking for little clues or an unexpected big twist, but it never happens. The author makes it clear from the beginning who the villains are and it is no surprise when the killer is revealed. I was hoping for a bit more of a shock!
- Loralyn, the villainous arch nemesis, is so cruel and nasty that she comes across as being more like a cartoon villainess. She is wicked personified and you hate her from the first scene. I just thought her character was a little over the top and I didn't completely understand why Ella Mae let her in a sense get away with her actions. I am guessing so she can stick around and continue to make Ella Mae's life miserable in the next book.
- There were several things that just didn't work in the mystery. For instance, Ella Mae takes a letter from her husband and folds it in a boat and floats it down the river, only to return home a little later to find the letter recovered and shoved dry in her mail slot. Granted, it is later revealed how the letter got there but I didn't buy it at all. Another thing that bothered me was when Ella Mae confronted one of the suspects and that person gives the ridiculous bad guy reveal speech and then Ella Mae doesn't record it and leaves with no proof! Seriously! That was a real sticking point for me.
- Finally, there were way too many unresolved story lines for my taste. For instance, one of the accomplices pretty much gets away with their part in the crimes, there is no resolution with the fate of the boys' ranch and the horses, there is no discussion on stopping the horrible practices used by the horse breeders, I was never clear on the abilities of Ella Mae's mother and her aunts, and the marriage between Ella Mae and her former husband is still not ended. I realize that many of these will be followed up, but I just felt that there should have been a few more tie offs of the existing story threads before the next book. At least it doesn't end with a cliffhanger.
Pies and Prejudice despite a few flaws was an entertaining and delicious little read. I thoroughly loved all the tasty descriptions of pies and found myself absolutely craving pie while reading this one. I was especially pleased to find the inclusion of several pie recipes at the end of the book which I cannot wait to try. I was also charmed by the hints of magic. Even though there were some areas that needed improvement, I can honestly say that I will be continuing the series because I just had fun with this one!
"My gut is telling me that this is where I'm supposed to be. It's like I left my dreams in a jar on a shelf in my childhood closet, and I now I only need to reach up and open the lid so they can come true."
"We might rush into love, but none of us should be in a rush to fall out of it."
I borrowed a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Thanks for stopping by! See you back tomorrow with another recipe from the Spring Carnival Food Booth!