The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe
By Mary Simses
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316225854, 352pp.)
Publication Date: July 9, 2013
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A high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother's hometown.
Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish--to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough. THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is a warm and delicious debut about the power of a simpler life.
Mary Simses grew up in Connecticut and spent much of her life in the Northeast, where she attended college and law school. As a child she loved to write stories, design covers for them, and staple them into books. Later, careers in journalism and law took priority and creative writing slipped away, until she enrolled in an evening fiction writing class at a local university and was hooked again. Her short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals. Mary now lives in South Florida with her husband/law partner and their daughter.
"If you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or the Nicholas Sparks novels, you will devour THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE. Mary Simses can write evocative detail that puts you right in the scene, with dialogue that always rings true."—James Patterson
"This charming, tender first novel emphasizes the power of simple pleasures, comfort food, and undeniable chemistry. Fans of the leads in the movies The Proposal and Sweet Home Alabama will recognize a kindred spirit in high-strung, perfectionist Ellen, and the novel's small-town setting will appeal to loyal readers of Mary Kay Andrews, Elin Hilderbrand, and Jan Karon. Simses' story of emotional discoveries, shifting priorities, and new beginnings is a delightful beach read."—Booklist
"Basic ingredients, well mixed-and good to the last crumb."—Good Housekeeping
"Like the tastiest piece of pie, THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is mostly sweet with a touch of tartness and has a richly constructed crust to contain all its ingredients.... Simses'...depictions of the charming qualities of small town life, the healing abilities of comfort food, and the redemptive power of love will win the hearts of readers, as will the subtle sprinkling of humor and intrigue. Fans of Nicholas Sparks, or even the romantic offerings of James Patterson, will approve."—John Valeri, Examiner.com
"With details that dovetail nicely into the plot and an assortment of quirky characters, THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE mixes up an authentic Maine setting with an entertaining story."—Beverly Meyer, The Free Lance-Star