Today's guest: Jenny Colgan Why we love her: She's a new find for us but we're big fans already. We're only sad we didn't discover her sooner. Next up, we read her other 11+ novels!
Her latest: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe (Out July 2nd!)
The scoop on it: A sweet and satisfying novel of how delicious it is to discover your dreams
Issy Randall can bake. No, Issy can create stunning, mouthwateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. She's much better at baking than she is a filing so when she's laid off from her desk job, Issy decides to open her own little café. But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake plan will take all of her courage and confectionary talent to avert disaster.
Funny and sharp, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café is about how life might not always taste like you expect, but there's always room for dessert!
Our thoughts: We devoured this delicious novel. It's the perfect book to read over your July 4th holiday!
Giveaway: TWO copies! (Us/Canada) Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, June 30th after 3pm PST.
Fun fact: You'll discover a yummy recipe at the beginning of every chapter in Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe! Read chapter one here!
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...JENNY COLGAN'S 5 FIRSTS & LASTS
First Kiss: In a monastery, believe it or not. I went to a catholic school, which had the dreadful idea of taking us teenagers away with catholic boys from other schools for 'religious retreats' in the summertime. Obviously, the inevitable happened.
Last Kiss: Last night my husband took me out to dinner then we went down to the beach to have ice cream as the sun was setting. That was pretty nice.
BOOK I READ
First Book: My first memories of reading are Frances the Badger. I've read her books to my own children, she's wonderful and can certainly turn a song. The first book I ever read by myself obsessively over and over was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Again, with my own children the effect is extraordinary, they wrest it out of your hands. It also has that wonderful poem about throwing out your tv and filling your house with books- 'and after, each and every kid/ will love you more for what you did'.
Last Book: I am reading and thoroughly enjoying Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann and am just about to start Sisterhood. I think Curtis Sittenfeld is marvelous!
RISK I TOOK
First Risk I Took: I went to Edinburgh University, instead of the local college my parents preferred where I could live with my grandmother. Edinburgh was far off, exotic, and I met people from all over the world instead of just people from my old school. I went a year early, completely on my own, at 16, and it was a real eye-opener.
Last Risk I Took: Ignoring the weather forecast this morning for a run along the beach. I would have achieved roughly the same effect from just jumping into the sea. I kept saying to the children, oh, it's going to clear up, but my four year old insisted on wearing her mackintosh and wellingtons, the full caboodle. She was right and I was wrong. Mind you, in my experience four year olds will wear wellies at any opportunity.
First “Aha!” Moment: When I was 15 or 16 my parents, for whatever reason, let me go to a touring production of The Rocky Horror Show with a friend. I grew up in a very small, insular town where I never felt like I fitted in (I realize now of course that this is not in the least unusual).
Anyway, we got to the little local theatre where I'd seen Christmas shows and summer variety and nothing else, and there were all these people dressed up as freaks in fishnets. They had the umbrellas and the rice and they knew all the funny responses. And I was like, oh my God, all these people are different! And funny! And they live in my town! It gave me just so much hope, that there were people out there who weren't purely concerned with makeup and fighting (the two main pursuits at my horrible high school).
Last “Aha!” Moment: For my New Year's resolution I started accompanying on the piano my friend who took up the clarinet after a twelve year break from it. It's such a pleasure to play with him when we're getting it right. This is, I should add, not terribly often.
HELL YA! MOMENT
First “Hell yeah!” Moment: A relationship ended in my early twenties so I did what you're supposed to, and took an evening class. I chose stand-up comedy. The first time I made everyone laugh changed my entire life in an instant. I was rubbish on stage, but unbeknownst to me apparently I could write funny, and that changed everything.
Last “Hell yeah!” Moment: Ha, this is an American website, so excellent, I can say it. My last novel, Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams (to be released in the US in 2014!), won two prizes this year: Best Romantic Comedy and overall Romantic Novel of the Year. I'm British so if we win an award we have to kind of mumble and say oh, no, well, they probably made a mistake, and I’m going to hide it in the toilet. But this is an American site so I can say HELL YEAH! It was brilliant, I was totally thrilled, and here it was! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22559105