Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Wedding Cake Girl, by Anne Pfeffer

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alexandra spends so much time helping others realize their dreams that she never has time for her own. An expert ocean diver and reluctant maker of wedding cakes, she longs to leave roses and frosting behind to study oceanography. Alex’s mother won’t have it—needy and dependent, Mom can’t run the family wedding cake business on her own.

No matter what Alex does, things only get worse for her. When she saves a man's life while scuba diving and becomes the local hero, Mom's angry with Alex for going diving at all. Mom discourages Alex's new friendship with Jeremy, a fun and insanely wealthy boy who happens to have a secret. Then, Alex's best friend, Zack, a hunky island guy, starts to take an interest in her as well. The problem is, he's dating another girl.

As Alex struggles to learn where she stands between her two difficult and confusing Prince Charmings, it occurs to her that maybe what she really needs is a Prince Charming for Mom. If she doesn't do something fast, they'll bury her in her "Sue's Wedding Cakery" apron with a spatula in her hand.

The Wedding Cake Girl features a colorful island setting, dangerous underwater diving adventures, a family of billionaires, and lots and lots of buttercream. The book is Alex's journey toward not only finding love, but learning how to step forward and take control of her own life, a rite of passage that faces all young readers.

***

I really enjoyed this book.  It wasn't perfect, but it was a really cute story about a girl who just wants to have a normal life.  She is an avid diver that lives on a small island just off the west coast.  

I fell in love with the island that Alex lived on.  It was so beautiful and so well described, I started to think that it was a real place.  Although I found Alex to be a little whiny sometimes, I generally liked her and could sympathize with her.  She has absolutely rotten luck with most aspects of her life, and everything she does seems to just make it worse. 

One of the things that I really liked about this book is that it wasn't the typical teen romance.  It was more realistic and less predictable than the vast majority of books out there.  Alex was interested in three different boys over the course of the story.  It wasn't a "decide your eternal fate right now" type of romance.  Although Alex's love life was a big part of the book, it wasn't all consuming or over the top.  The book was about figuring out life, making big decisions, and hopefully finding a guy along the way.  

I loved Jeremy.  I thought he was a fantastic friend and an all around good character.  Zack was more of a tossup.  My attitude toward him tended to follow the feelings of the main character.  Sometimes I loved him and sometimes I didn't.  

Just one word of caution about the romances that happen in this book.  There is a point in the story when Alex goes too far with her boyfriend.  They don't go ALL the way, but far enough that I started to wonder if I was going to have to skip a page or two.

Overall, I found this story to be delightful and entertaining.  I love the cover.  It is pretty and whimsical, and it portrays the feeling of the book well.

File Size: 365 KB
Print Length: 202 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Author Bio: 

Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles near a large rotating neon chicken head with her daughter and her dachshund Taco.
Website: www.annepfeffer.com
Twitter: AnnePfeffer1

Interview With the Author:

1.    What inspired you to write The Wedding Cake Girl?

First, I adore Catalina Island and thought it would make a fun, beautiful setting for a book. It was the model for my fictional Santa Rita Island. 

            I was married on Catalina, and my wedding cake was made by a lady who lived in town and made most of the wedding cakes on the island.  This was many years ago, and I think that woman has long since left the island. I never got to know her, and she as a person was NOT—repeat, NOT – the model for the crazy Sue Marshall.  But her job, of course, was. She was the Wedding Cake Lady, and from there I came up with Alexandra, The Wedding Cake Girl.



2.    Will there be a sequel?

A lot of people have asked for one, and I like to please my readers. So I’m thinking about it.  But I need a good story.  Let’s just say I’m seriously considering it!

3. What do you enjoy most about writing Young Adult novels?

 I think teen books are more hopeful and forward-looking than many books for adults. Teenagers have their whole lives ahead of them, which is both scary and exciting.  I like writing stories about kids who grapple with knotty every-day problems and who learn in the course of the book who they are, what their skills and passions are, and what they want to do with their lives. And if my fictional characters can do those things, maybe at least a few of my readers will believe they can too.


4. Are you working on anything new?

 Yes.  It’s called Girls Love Travis Walker.  It’s a New Adult book, about a nineteen year old high school drop-out.  It’s much grittier than The Wedding Cake Girl – about a guy who could be described as a player, but who’s working hard to save himself and his mother from eviction. It will have a hot romance, and Travis will learn some lessons along the way.  It will also feature fire fighters!  


5. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Learn how to write.  There’s a lot of specific craft that distinguishes the professional writer from the amateur.  In my early days, I would dash off these things I thought were brilliant, then ship them off to free-lance editors who would beg  me – I mean, BEG me – to take writing classes.  As one editor put it, “In good conscience, I must advise you to invest in writing classes instead of hiring me – although God knows I need the money.”

So I listened and took many, many hours of writing class and underwent (still undergo) many, many hours of critiques. I personally think you have to like writing – or need to write. The process of creating a book is so long, you have to like it in order to get through it.  And I do like it!   

Exerpt:

Someone with a whimsical imagination must have named the streets in Paradise. I head down
Cinnamon Street to Carousel Avenue and turn left. It takes me all of one minute to get to Dizzy's Dive. Fishnets full of carefully preserved sea life cover the walls. Amidst the motionless crabs and swordfish, a soccer game blares from ten TVs. Brazil's playing Italy.

I squeeze my way through the tables. Zack's already sitting at the counter. Technically, since Dizzy's is a full-fledged liquor-slinging establishment, Zack and I are not allowed on the premises. But seeing as how Dizzy Malone is Zack's uncle, and Spike Malone, Zack's dad, is Chief of Police, there's no one to turn us in or arrest us. Zack and I have been hanging at Dizzy's since we were little, slugging down sodas and sitting near Dizzy at the bar, where he could keep an eye on us.

Zack listens to the person beside him, grinning broadly, his smile white against his tan. I love the way he's always himself, always calm and centered. A couple of girls walk by, checking him out, but he's waving to me.

It's okay if Zack's with Rosie, I try to convince myself. After all, I was the one who stupidly said it was better to be just friends.

Three months ago, Zack and I went mountain biking and stopped to rest on a hillside. I lay in a patch of sun with my eyes closed, while Zack walked around nearby. I heard him rustling in the grass, but didn't know what he was doing until I sat up, opened my eyes, and found him holding out a bunch of wildflowers. To me.

I leaned forward, admiring the island poppies and Arroyo lupine in his hand. "The flowers are great this spring, with all the rain we've gotten!" Then I looked up.

He had a half-embarrassed, half-determined expression on his face. "They're for you," he said.

"Oh!" In shock, I took them and sat there, looking down at them, not knowing what to say.

"I thought that maybe I should ask you out on a date. That is," he added, "if you're interested." He put on this "just-kidding" expression that masked the shy and serious Zack underneath and gave him an escape route if needed.

But the word "date" meant one thing: my mother and her men. I would never live in that world or let it touch what I had with Zack.

"I don't do dates!" The words flew out of me. I scrambled to my feet, the flowers falling from my hand. "Your friendship means too much to me."

"Yeah, I know, me too," he said, suddenly busy brushing off his shorts with angry little strokes.

"Zack, I...." I knew I'd hurt him, but I didn't know how to undo what I'd done. "Now I've dropped your flowers!" I wailed, trying to pick them up out of the long grass.

"Don't worry about it." He stalked off toward his mountain bike.

"Wait!"

"Forget it." He asked Rosie out the very next day.

I haven't been able to fix my mistake. We're still friends and diving partners, but it's not the same.

Giveaway!

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*


 


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1 comment:

Dena McMurdie said...

I really like contemporary romances. This one was fun because it was more realistic and less formulaic than most.