In The Spotlight – ‘MUST LOVE SANDWICHES’
Emma has worked hard to establish herself as an artist. The artists’ colony where she lives is heaven compared to the rundown trailer parks she grew up in. After a relationship comes to an unexpected end she decides to make some drastic changes in her life, but it isn’t as easy as just flipping a switch. Her best friend, Daisy, thinks she’s being too extreme. Plus, the owner of Emma’s favorite food truck is more tempting than the gourmet sandwiches he serves. That makes everything even more complicated. Is taking a different route in life the best thing to do? What if she ends up miserable instead of on the path to happiness?
Taking Centre Stage, Author – JANEL GRADOWSKI
Janel Gradowski grew up, and still lives, in the mitten of Michigan. She is a wife and mother whose writing companion is a crazy Golden Retriever named Cooper. In the past she has worked many jobs. Renting apartments, scorekeeping for a stock car racetrack and selling newspaper classified advertisements, are some of the experiences that continue to provide inspiration for her stories. Now she writes fiction and is also a beadwork designer and teacher. She enjoys cooking and is fueled by copious amounts of coffee.
Her work has appeared in many publications, both online and in print. She is the author of two series. Her first culinary fiction series is The Bartonville Series. Each volume will contain foodie fiction stories of various lengths, all set in Michigan. The 6:1 Series features themed collections of her stories that are based on the title’s theme.
My favorite place to write is in my recliner, nestled into the corner of the living room. I can glance over my laptop screen and peruse the wildlife in the field across the road. Everything from deer to turkeys and pheasants pass by, as I wrestle the characters out of my head and onto the page. My almost constant companion and writing buddy is my beloved Golden Retriever, Cooper. He’s a great listener and always reminds me to get up and stretch once in awhile, on the way to his treat jar. Besides my fur baby, my family consists of two wonderful children and a fantastic husband.
Janel is a very active social networker and there are many places where you can hook up with her …
Catch up with all Janel’s news on her website
Follow Janel on Twitter
Like Janel on Facebook
WORDS FROM THE BOOK
Madly in love is a dangerous place to be if you’re too blind to see the truth.
Misery loves company
Please promise me, when you find a man who loves you as much as you love him, hold on tight. Don’t let him slip away. I don’t want you to end up like me.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK
“Alone Isn’t Really A Good Thing”
I find that gathering my thoughts together and getting them down in writing, about a short story or novella, is always so difficult. My reviews often turn into rather wordy and lengthy posts, which then has me running the risk that they will almost end up by upstaging the original work. Make the review too short and the essence of the story might be marginalised, or I find myself offering up far too many spoilers …
Must Love Sandwiches, is the first volume of The Bartonville Series of foodie fiction. This is a “cake” sized (novella) story of approximately 30,000 words.
Recipes and two “truffle” sized (flash) stories of about 1,000 words each are also included, which can be read and enjoyed during that snatched coffee break!
Not being much of an adventurous cook (A blogging friend once put it beautifully – “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house”), I did rather tend to skip over the recipes included in this foodie romance novella, although I have to say that even a novice such as myself would have found them quick and easy to prepare and they did sound delicious!
Emma and Daisy, the two central female characters in the story, are both also very ‘arty’ types and I found author Janel’s detailed descriptions of their various projects and ‘works in progress’, particularly interesting and intriguing.
Whilst I also don’t read an awful lot of contemporary romance novels, I found myself oddly and compulsively drawn to the characters in Must Love Sandwiches. I was amazed at just how well drawn, complex, yet easy to connect with they had become, in such a relatively few short pages.
Daisy is as easy to read as an open book, she tells things as she sees them, no fuss, no frills. What you see, is what you get!
Emma on the other hand, is very insecure, convinced that she is going to end up like her mother, always needing a man in her life, yet unable to choose wisely, to find the one who is right for her.
At first glance, the strong bond of friendship which develops between the two girls, may seem a little strange. However it doesn’t take long to realise the strengths which each bring to the table and the encouragement and support they can offer each other, which will benefit them both in the long run.
The narrative is witty, descriptive and by the very nature of the book’s length, pacey and fast moving.
The dialogue between the charcaters is conversational, transitionally smooth and intuitive, making for a fluid, exhilarating journey for Daisy and Emma, as they both set out to catch their man!
For me, this was a great, ‘curl up in front of a roaring fire on a winter’s night’ read and I felt oddly bereft when it was over.
As this was an author invitation to read and review, a Kindle download of Must Love Sandwiches, was sent to me free of charge, by its author, Janel Gradowski.
This in no way influenced any comments I may have expressed about the book, in any blog article I have posted. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.
I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a 4 out of 5.