Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review of Too Many Cooks

Book Review of Too Many Cooks 

Blurb : 

Bitter news leads a San Diego widow and widower to true love—and to a scheme to marry off their adult children, a plan that goes deliciously awry.

Gaetano Lorenzo was the sweetest man that the widowed Estelle Bennett had ever met. That morning began terribly, with awful news, but now the owner and head chef of a local San Diego ristorante was offering up Italian delights: red wine, delicious food, walks on the beach, laughter when she’d never thought she’d laugh again…. Estelle felt twenty-five. She and Gaetano had found the recipe for love, and a simple variation might just get their adult children to settle down, too. A scoop of sugar, two ladlefuls of lust, a pinch of deception and a whole 24 oz.-can of danger— Suddenly, ingredients were coming from everywhere! But kitchens are crazy places, and variety is the spice of life. And for anything to get cooked, things have to get hot.

About the Author:

From the time she could hold a pencil, Shirley Ann Wilder wrote stories. Being the youngest of six children, she was overlooked many times but found wonder and magic in reading books. As a youngster she was especially fond of horse books and read every one of Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books.

That passion for horses carried over into her adult life and with her husband and four children, raised Quarter Horses and German Shepherds. Shirley’s other passion was writing, but it was put on hold until the three sons and one daughter were in high school.

After developing a severe allergy to the equine species and having to give up the major part of horse involvement, Shirley wrote a weekly column for a community newspaper and a monthly column entitled “On the Wilder Side” for the California Horseman’s News in the which she recounted the humorous episodes that happened during the Wilder Family’s horse era. Shirley also published in college literary magazines, but her real quest was to write novels.

 After taking numerous writing classes and amassing many unfinished manuscripts, one of her writing instructors suggested she join Romance Writers of America. Taking that advice she also joined the local San Diego RWA chapter has since completed six novels.  She served on the Executive Board as Co-President of RWA- San Diego for 2006 and 2007 and held several other chair positions. She credits her fellow writers for the support and encouragement that has kept her writing during recent difficult times.

Shirley Ann was widowed in January of 2008 when her husband died of stage four colon cancer after battling it bravely for three years and four months. Three of her grown children live near her in suburbs of San Diego and one son lives in Kentucky.  They have blessed her with four granddaughters and one grandson.

Since her husband’s death, Shirley has become an advocate for colonoscopies and is currently working on a non-fiction book about the grieving process and all one encounters when suffering the loss of a mate. “John was my hero and I will miss him forever, but he always encouraged me to keep writing and to stay strong.”


Purchase Links

Shirley Ann Wilder  Online:

Guest Blog:

I dream a lot of my novels. Literally. Though I haven’t published them all.
My love for the written word apparently started before I went to school. I was the youngest of six children, and my brother, three years older than I, struggled a bit when he entered first grade. The teacher sent home books for him to practice reading, and I was evidently fascinated by the idea that those funny-looking marks actually meant something. I nagged everyone in the family to tell me: “What’s this word?” “What’s this say?” By the time I started kindergarten, I already knew quite a bit. In those days, children under five years old could ride the bus for free, and because I was short Mother figured she could save a nickel. Imagine her chagrin when passed me off as under five, I took my seat and proceeded to read all the ads posted inside the bus!
Even as a small child I knew I was somehow different, and elementary school was less than a positive experience. My parents separated, and my mother became the sole support of the four children still at home. My escape was the school library. They had so many books, and I could read them for free. I especially loved Walter Farley’s series with the Black Stallion. In my fantasy world, I was the kid riding the Black Stallion, and I was the person who rescued My Friend Flicka. My love for horses was almost as deep as my love for books.
I began writing stories on the inside of brown paper grocery bags, complete with illustrations, but I couldn’t understand why no one could read them properly. Then my mother pointed out that, when you begin a new sentence, you have to start it from the left side of the paper every time. I had written from left to right and then from right to left, and so on and so on. It still makes sense to me. Think of all the time you could save!
When I was eight I convinced my neighborhood pals that we should all write books and sell them to make money to finance our Kool-Aid stand. I ended up writing their books as well as mine, which I pretty much plagiarized from a library book. Of course, our only buyers were parents, so little harm was done. I sold my book to my mother for five cents—the bus fare I’d saved her! After she died, when my sisters and I were getting her house ready to put on the market, I came across a box of photos and keepsakes. In the box was my book, The Talking Toys. My mother had saved it all those years. I doubt that anything I have written since or will write in the future will have the same impact.
In high school I wrote poems. They were a lot shorter and didn’t require a plot. Some were about dreamy boys who didn’t give me a second look. Some were about wild horses that roamed the prairies, and later, after I was married, I wrote poems about my children. I went through short periods where I didn’t write at all. Being a mom, a den mother, a Bluebird leader, a backyard swim instructor and on the PTA board took almost all of my time. But I never could quit completely. I found I couldn’t NOT write.
I finally got serious about writing after joining Romance Writers of America. It opened a door that I hadn’t known existed, though the knowledge wasn’t immediately happy. I went to my first conference and came home a bit dejected. I had thought I was the only one who really wanted to publish a book! I don’t know where I’d got that idea, but seeing over 2,000 people with the same dream as mine set me back a bit. This writing thing was not going to be so easy. It was going to be even harder because I write less from an outline than from intuition. I become every character in my books. When they get cut, I‘m the one who bleeds.
And yet…all that bleeding has paid off. While writing is the hardest thing in the world, it’s also rewarding. I recently sold my novel, Too Many Cooks, to Boroughs Publishing Group, and it’s out now! It came from a recurring dream I had for several nights in a row. I think I was on one of my endless diets, and food was on my mind a lot. But, the story worked. I hope you think so too.
So, for all you struggling authors out there, don’t give up your dreams. Write them down!

Book Review:

            I love that the daughter of the owner and chef of an Italian restaurant can’t cook.  I also love that the parents set out to get their kids to fall in love, but end up falling in love themselves.  Senior loving is so cute.

            This is a darling love story about two parents and their grown children (two for the price of one).

            I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
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