Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sweet Caroline - Win a Baking Basket Full of Goodies!

When I read this title, I had to smile. Regular readers, friends IRL and I have a running joke about how I don't care for the musical stylings Neil Diamond (there are only two camps: Camp Love Neil & Camp Loathe Neil), but I do love the title of this book, even though every time I picked it up I heard the chorus of a certain song in my head ....

I just finished Sweet Caroline, and I'd like to recommend it to you. Here's the backdrop on the story:

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.

Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sheriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.
But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.


You gotta love the name "Frogmore Cafe."

Many chapters begin with the "Daily Special" of the Frogmore, and I believe that the cafe's special "Bubba's Buttery Biscuits," makes the menu every time. (More about those biscuits at the end of the post!)

That special menu touch is one way that author Rachel Hauck draws the reader in and makes her care about what's happening to the characters and how Caroline will make out in the end.

Caroline's chance to go to Barcelona is what George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life" called "the chance of a lifetime." But she'll have to choose between a man, another man, a cafe that has a presence like the island does in "LOST" and a bright future ... in another country.

Each of those three "characters" pulls at Caroline. Whom does she chose? You won't know until chapter 33, and even in 34 she questions whether the decision is right. You'll just have to hang on to the end to find out which heart-choice Caroline makes.

Until you pick up the book here, here's some fun stuff for you: The Sweet Life Contest! Enter to win a scrumptious baking basket from Rachel. The basket contains the apron shown here, a Low Country cook book signed by PAT CONROY, rolling pin, and a pie plate! All you have to do to enter is sign up for Rachel's newsletter here. Here are some links you might be interested in: Rachel's website and Rachel's My Book Therapy (a writing craft blog for writers).
And just in case you're a legitimate baker extraordinaire (or a wanna be), here is none other than than the recipe for Bubba's Buttery Biscuits, which I copied in another post to save space here.

Finally--if you'd like a chance to win this fun, "summer read," leave a comment at this post saying, "Count me in" or "Sweet Caroline/Good times never seemed so good/
I've been inclined/to believe they never would ...." or something to that effect, and I'll put your name in the loop.

24 comments:

Susanne said...

Seeing I don't sing well, I'll say count me in!

Barbara H. said...

This does sound interesting. "Count me in." :-)

Karin said...

"Count me in".....Thank you!

karin56381 (at) gmail.com

Rebecca said...

Count me in on Sweet Caroline! I've been lurking for awhile and a giveaway seems like a good time to leave my first comment! Sorry, that's probably wrong, huh?

Love your writing style...love Clinton Kelly too, and Neil Diamond...don't care for him. But Caroline is my daughter's name so people always sing us the song.

Linda said...

Count me in! Sounds like a good read, thanks for recommending. Great way to start the annual pool read season.

Kelley said...

Oh please count me in, I am a contest junkie!

On another note, I did go to a Neil Diamond concert about 12 years ago. My husband worked in radio and got front row seats for a client who couldn't use them so I went with a girlfriend. I like his music well enough (it's like re-visiting my childhood) but here is what I remember: He looked pretty old and goofy, kept pointing at the audience like he was trying to be sexy and why couldn't I have these great seats to see someone I really liked?

Debbie said...

"Where it began, I can't begin to know when..."

But I'd love to know how this book ends, so count me in.

April in CT said...

I'll spare your ears the bleeding... "count me in"!

Darlene R. said...

Count me in!

skoots1mom said...

"Count me in"...
You are reaching your goal...I feel very soothed after I read your blogs and posts. Keep keeping on...God Bless!

Carrie said...

Ok so I never win anything, but what the heck. Count me in. That sounds like my kind of readin'. And I love to bake - I'll have to check out those links. Thanks!
God bless :)

Carol said...

Sweet Caroline! I feel the same way about Neil Diamond's music as you. Count me in!

Carol (I Throw Like a Girl)

Jenna said...

I just found your blog from a link on Deena's blog. It looks like I stopped by on the perfect day as I've been wanting to read this. "Count me in"

Thanks-
Jenna

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, count me in, please! Looks like a great book!

Susan said...

Count me in to win a copy of "Sweet Caroline"! Thanks!

~Susan

email: writeagain04 (at) yahoo (dot) com

sarah said...

That books sounds good! I like a good romance. Thanks for the suggestion. I need a good getaway read!

cajunquilter said...

Please count me in! and i signed up for Rachels newletter. thanks for the information.

Mary B said...

Um yeah, would love this!

A Stone Gatherer said...

Sounds like a good book, count me in!

Kimberly said...

Any book that includes a recipe like Bubba's Buttery Biscuits is one I wanna read!

rmpl said...

This book sounds great. A nice way to start off the summer. Count me in.

rmpltskn at yahoo dot com

SJ said...

I'll also spare your ears...sure, count me in!

Marina said...

"where it began, I can't begain to know" oh count me in I have to know what Caroline does in the end an if I don't win you still have to tell me you can't leave me hanging.marina

Jen said...

Now this is the kind of contest I like. And a new blog to read! My piles of endless laundry and projects now hate me even more that I have more reading to do online! :)

I love Rachel's blog -- thanks for the info!