Freebies #2 and #3: The Lost Recipe for Happiness, by Barbara O’Neal
Contest Dates: March 7th – 14th
How to Win: Share and Retweet!
Crowded Earth Kitchen is giving away two copies of this engaging book! The first copy will go to a randomly selected person who “Shares” a Crowded Earth Kitchen Facebook post. The second copy will go to a randomly selected person who “Retweets” a Crowded Earth Kitchen Twitter Tweet. Each “Share” and “Retweet” counts as an entry, so Share and Retweet as often as you’d like! Have fun!
The Lost Recipe for Happiness was my first foray into Barbara O’Neal’s world of culinary fiction. I love how recipes are woven into the story, often as very appropriate stand-alone chapters, and am looking forward to trying Abuela Maria Elena’s Posole in my own kitchen. I had barely finished the last page before going online to find more Barbara O’Neal books, and was thrilled to learn she has a new release (The All You Can Dream Buffet) coming out March 4th!
Page after page, readers will find themselves rooting for Jefa Elena Alvarez as she takes on her dream of an opportunity to head the kitchen of an up-and-coming Aspen restaurant. Readers are given an inside glimpse of restaurant life including both the humor and the grit, the complicated and diverse backstories of kitchen staff, and the realities of working brutally hard in a shockingly wealthy tourist enclave. Between her elegant, East coast – moneyed sommelier and Maître D’ Patrick, her talented, Mexican-immigrant master saucier Juan, brilliant but unpredictable chef Ivan, celebrity boss Julian, and adorable dog Alvin, Elena sure has her hands full!
The Lost Recipe for Happiness is literary meat and potatoes (or should I say, tamales!) rather than frosting and fluff. Elena’s had a tough go, getting to this point in her life, and author Barbara O’Neal doesn’t sugarcoat the details. Small parts of this book are downright dark, and readers may never think of the sugar skulls displayed in restaurants for El Día de los Muertos quite the same way again. It’s the difficult details, though, that make the reader respect Elena even more for continuing to put one, sometimes painful foot in front of the other, moving forward toward a bright future in both her professional and her personal life. Don’t be surprised if, at the end of this book, you have a craving for tamales.
***Congratulations to Averyht, winner of our first March Madness giveaway!***