Sunday, May 26, 2024

A Delicious Summer Confection?

From the crazy, mixed up files of Village Green/Town² comes this screenshot from the Howard County Times:

I no longer have a subscription but the information I saw intrigued me:

  • Elkridge author
  • Ellicott City background (Backwater Books)
  • Eat Dessert First
Elkridge author encourages readers to “Eat Dessert First. Hmm…a self-help book? “Must check this out,” I said to myself as I took a screenshot.

The phrase “Eat Dessert First” brought to mind one of my favorite childhood books, The Pink Motel by Carol Ryrie Brink. 

Nothing exciting ever happens to Kirby or Bitsy Mellen--that is, until their mother inherits a motel in Florida from her great-granduncle Hiram, complete with a roster of eccentric guests.  - - Goodreads 

One of those eccentric guests was a nice lady who invited the children on picnic lunches where all the food was made from scratch and their hostess insisted they eat dessert first. Every single time. As a child that seemed like the most revolutionary, counterculture thing I had ever come across and I loved it. Just imagine! A world where you didn’t have to suffer through strange-smelling lamb shanks or the long, woody stems of broccoli to be rewarded a taste of something which brought you joy.

That’s probably why I found myself going back this morning to learn more about Elkridge author Michelle Paris. 

It turns about that Eat Dessert First is not a self-help book. It’s a romance novel. 

Can a big-hearted plus-sized baker discover the recipe for happiness? 

Baker Abbey Reilly has heard you have such a pretty face enough times to know it’s code for and an ugly body. Her lack of luck in the romance department does little to increase her feelings of self-worth. Her boss, Caroline, a sassy seventy-something encourages Abbey to accept her curves. Like a good cream filled cupcake—what’s inside matters the most.

This is Paris’s second novel. Her first, “New Normal,” centers around the story of a middle-aged widow figuring out her new life after loss. “New Normal” was honored at BookFest 2023 in the Humor Relationship Category. Ms. Paris is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Maryland Writers’ Association.

And she’s from Elkridge. I learned from her Instagram that she’s been out in the community promoting “Eat Dessert First”. Also: she’s a graduate of Laurel High School.

True confession: I’m not a big reader of romance novels but, since I’m now related to someone who wrote one, I’m trying to be more open-minded. I must admit I’m more hesitant about the subject matter - - can anyone love you if you’re fat? - - especially in light of the recent fat phobic Spectator piece about Bridgerton. If Paris’s story is truly body-positive, that would be thrilling. 

I’ll let you know. Or, you can let me know. I bet you can pick up a copy at Backwater Books.

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