Bubby: Hey, dear readers! We know that several of you have taken up the challenge and entered our contest by sharing a post. Unfortunately, unless you TELL us, we can’t count your entry!
Bubby: Thanks so much! Remember, we are giving two winners a hot cocoa and book combo pack and you get to choose ANY book that we’ve reviewed.
Sissy: Contest ends on November 13, 2013 so hurry up!
Emmeline Thistle should have died the day she was born – rejected because of a deformed foot. Emmeline Thistle should have died the day her village was destroyed by a flood. But Emmeline, although only a dirt-scratcher’s daughter, knows that her life is worth saving. Striving to survive on her own, Emmeline discovers she has a rare and fabulous talent – she can churn cream into chocolate, a treat that is more valuable than gold. Suddenly Emmeline is in great demand as everyone seeks to use her talent for their own gain. All Emmeline wants is to find someone who loves her for herself – and if it happens to be Owen Oak, the dairyman’s son, all the better!
Sissy: Every once in a while, Bubby goes into stealth book search mode, comes home from whatever store she has searched with a pile of books, reads them, then blessedly appears on my doorstep and hands me the best of them. These are good days. A couple of weeks ago The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors was in the blessed pile that Bubby gave me. It was a perfectly lovely confection of a tale. And I put it on my own pile of books to give to my 21-year-old daughter to read.
Bubby: I want it back, by the way. It just goes to show that great books can be found in the least likely of places – I believe this particular shopping trip took place at the Smith’s Marketplace a few blocks from my house. I never know what I’ll get with these books – this time I found a treasure!
Sissy: Bubby truly has a magical good-books-sniffing-out talent. I liked this book because it follows the tried and true themes of good vs. evil, underdog comes out on top, acceptance of people with clubfoots, and of course, magic and romance. It also has a happy ending (which is mandatory because we are not Oprah’s Book Club).
Bubby: And it has chocolate! Lots of chocolate! Buckets of it! I was thrilled to find a culture where chocolate is quite literally more valuable than gold. I am sure that if I were to live in this lovely mythical kingdom that I, too, would possess the talent of churning cream into chocolate. Or else I’d have to be a bank robber (just so I could afford my daily chocolate fix). Poor Emmeline has the deck stacked against her from the beginning – she is born with a deformity, her mom dies soon thereafter, her dad has “relationship issues” and she is a Kell – the people who are the lowest of the low. And things just go downhill from there.
Sissy: Bubby thinks she is writing a novel.
Bubby: Bubby actually thinks she is commenting on a novel, thank you very much.
Sissy: It is interesting how The Sweetest Spell treats the issue of prejudice, and prejudice within prejudice. The dirt-scratchers of the flatlands are ostracized from the rest of the kingdom. But they themselves ostracize Emmeline because she has a clubfoot. It makes one think about how ridiculous we are for treating people badly because they are different from us.
Bubby: Wait. You just barely said you WEREN’T Oprah’s Book Club. And now you’re philosophising!
Sissy: Bubby ostracizes me because I am brilliant. And beautiful. And I COULD be Oprah’s Book Club if I wanted. But if you’d let me finish, I would tell you that this book also has lots of witty banter and cultural humor which gives it a lightness not found in tomes that give me a headache.
Bubby: O.K. I think I will save my readers the argument that could possibly ensue here and just move on.
Sissy: What, no snarky comment about my headaches?
Bubby: Nope. No snarky comment about how you ARE my headache, either. I am moving on. Yep. Here we go. Emmeline is rescued after the flood by a lovely family which is quite the opposite of her own family – they are loving, warm and wealthy and well-fed. And then there’s Owen Oak – the son of said family. But I won’t say anymore about him right now – no spoilers! Suffice it to say that all turns out well and everyone gets chocolate. Well, not everyone.
Sissy: This is a sweet chocolatey read and I give it 3 1/2 bubbles.
Bubby: A lovely treat. 3 1/2 bubbles from me too.
Click HERE to buy The Sweetest Spell at Amazon.com
© Bubble Bath Books 2013
Bubby: Hey, Sissy, have you gotten the accounting firm of Jacobs and Sons to tally the contest winners yet?
Sissy: Yes dear. The winners have been selected and we are ready to announce them to the world at large!
Bubby: It’s like Christmas all over again! So who won?
Sissy: The lucky ladies are . . . Gina M and Diana B!!
Bubby: Congratulations, Gina and Diana! We will send you an email right away to let you know you’ve won and to get your addresses. Your chocolate will be on its way faster than you can say Godiva 3 times!
Sissy: Happy New Year! Happy Chocolate!
Bubby: And for all of you wonderful people who entered and didn’t win this time, do not fret. Another contest will be announced in the near future. Keep reading!
© Bubble Bath Books 2013
Bubby: Sissy! Our first contest went so well that I think we should do another. What think you?
Sissy: What’s behind door #1? A trip to Tahiti? A golden necklace? Or . . .Godiva chocolates?
Bubby: Ooo! Let’s do Godiva chocolates! They are better than a trip or a necklace (and our budget won’t extend to a trip or necklace anyway.)
Sissy: Right! So here’s what one must do to enter to win a deluxe one pound box of Godiva Chocolates: “like” us on Facebook AND leave a comment on our blog site about your favorite author and why we should review a book by them.
Bubby: What if someone ALREADY “likes” us on Facebook? Can they still win?
Sissy: Yessirree! If you’ve already liked us on Facebook, simply do the comment bit and you are in! Make sure that we have some way to contact you just in quesadilla you are a winner. There will be two winners, p.s., and they will not have to share their chocolates–they will each get their own. But how long does this bit of chocolatey cheer last, Bubby?
Bubby: The contest will stay open through December 31st at midnight. Of course this is all contingent on the world not ending tomorrow – but I’ve never trusted the Mayan calendar so I think we are all ok. Winners will be announced on January 2nd because we will be too sleep-deprived to do it on the 1st. Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year to all!
Sissy: I do like Mayan Truffles, however. Enter the contest! Win! Eat the best chocolates in the world! (Godiva never gave us nothing for saying they were the best, so don’t get your hankies in a knot!)
Bubby: Don’t forget that to win you need to “like” us AND leave a comment. Previous comments don’t count, no matter how much we like you. Good luck to all and to all a good night!
Sissy: Last word. (I just wanted to have the last word for a change.)
Tasmin and William have been betrothed since birth even though they are from opposite sides of the kingdom. When William is unjustly accused of murder Tasmin drops everything and rushes to his side to help clear his name. She settles into the apartment William has prepared for them above his chocolate shop and begins to investigate. She soon finds herself facing more than she’d bargained for – suspicious townspeople, William’s dysfunctional family and a complex web of deceit surrounding the murder. Tasmin and William must work together to solve the mystery and find the real killer – before he strikes again.
Sissy: I relate to Tasmin, because she is a Hag. And I mean that in the best possible way. In the world where Tasmin lives a Hag is magical and beautiful.
Bubby: *Snort*. Sorry. Please continue, dearest Haggy Sissy.
Sissy: When she is promised to William, his family is upset because they believe in a more traditional definition of Hags. Kind of like when I married a boy from Utah and my dad told me that Utahns eat their young.
Bubby: Which is why I married a boy from Washington. No young ‘uns being eaten there! Yes, William’s family thinks that everyone from the North must be evil and deceitful and dangerous. Tasmin’s family thinks that those from the South, like William, are all uncultured savages. Of course they are both wrong. And it doesn’t matter anyway. Tasmin and William fall in love through letters written over Tasmin’s lifetime. They care only for each other, not the opinions of their families.
Sissy: In The Chocolatier’s Wife, Cindy Lynn Speer uses the wonderful literary device of letter writing between the two main characters to give us background, build their relationship and clarify the present story. She does a fantastic job and this was one of the things that drew me into the story. I read an Amazon.com review of this book where one reader said the writing was “painful”. I was completely discombobulated by that remark–that reviewer obviously had too much lead in their water pipes, if you know what I mean.
Bubby: It is very well written. No complaints about that from me. I loved the many twists and turns in the plot – you don’t actually find out who the murderer is or why the murder was committed until the very end of the book. It’s quite shocking, really. I never would have guessed. The romance between William and Tasmin is so sweet – they interact as if they’d been married already for 10 years and are totally dedicated to one another. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. I also enjoyed hating William’s mother and sister-in-law. Talk about hags! (And not in a good way).
Sissy: Yes, there is plenty of intrigue in this book. While I usually can guess who the murderer is early on (because I am like that Mentalist guy on TV), this time I was taken by surprise. If I dangled the tag words “chocolate”, “magic”, “pirates” and “romance” in front of a group of mixed age women, who would come forward to devour this book? I would say all of them between 13 and 104.
Bubby: So it’s a little young for you, is that what you’re saying? Ha!
Sissy: Yeah, I’m the sexiest 105 year-old you’ve ever seen!
Bubby: Not too high of a bar there. Anyway, now that you’ve written our tags for this post, let me sum up by saying that The Chocolatier’s Wife was a good read. It was a bit slow for me in bits and I wavered between hating William’s family and wanting to slap some sense into them, especially his brother. I have no use for weak-willed lily-livered girly men. Grow a spine already! Overall, though, enjoyable. 3 1/2 bubbles.
Sissy: If I didn’t know you I’d think you had the personality of a cabbage! It only seemed slow in bits to you because you’re always trying to set the speed reading record. It’s part of your insecurity. I, on the other hand, am able to savor every word like a bit of fine chocolate. Someday I will coach you in this skill. The Chocolatier’s Wife is a scrumptious bite and I give it 4 bubbles.
© Bubble Bath Books 2012