From the moment I started reading The Spinster Sisters, I knew Stacey Ballis was going to become a favorite author of mine. After I finished, I immediately went out to get her other three novels that were available at the time (back in 2007). Then I had to wait a few years for Good Enough to Eat, but it was well worth it! To date, she has not let me down and I still expect only greatness from her going forward. She mainly writes about Jewish women living in Chicago (sometimes with really cute dogs) and cooking up delicious feasts for the men they want to date. At least that’s the pattern I’ve been seeing. All her characters are relatable in one way or another and she’s not afraid to put their flaws on display either. Her latest novel, Out to Lunch, is a real treat. I devoured it last year (see review) and especially loved the geek humor. Luckily, Stacey has a copy for one reader in the US or Canada.
A little birdie (or doggie, in this case) told me that Stacey recently celebrated a birthday. Help her celebrate another great year by checking out her books (if you haven’t yet) or telling all your friends about them (if you love them as much as I do).
A Best Friend from Beyond
I think for me, I’d most like to have a “friend date” with Aimee from Out to Lunch. Since Aimee has already passed away when we are first introduced to her, and since we only get to know her through Jenna’s imaginary conversations with her and other characters’ memories, it would be fun to meet her in person and really get to know her a bit! I think for sure we would hang out at The Larder Library with the gang, and have lunch at Lula Café with Jenna. I think Aimee and I are much more alike than Jenna and I, so I think the day would be easy and fun. We’d probably do a little bit of shopping, maybe at Art Effect in Lincoln Park, or perhaps some antiquing, looking for treasures. I’d probably have to take her to see her statue at University of Chicago, and I think it is entirely likely she might deface it in some way! And then I think the best part of the day would be to have Aimee and Wayne, along with Jenna and the rest of the Larder Library staff all come over for a dinner party with me and my husband. I would love to watch everyone interact, since they are like a tight-knit family. (Of course, I’d have to hide all the breakables if Wayne was coming over!) Despite Wayne’s newfound willingness to explore dining options outside his comfort zone, we’d keep it simple. Throw some tomahawk steaks on the grill, roasted potatoes, some steamed green beans or asparagus, and then something over the top for dessert…maybe Benji’s crepe cake!
We’d drink some old burgundy with dinner and then settle in the living room with some port or Madeira and tell stories and laugh. I can see the six of us just hanging out till after midnight, talking about food and filling Aimee in on everything she’s missed. Something tells me that she would even exceed my expectations of her.
Thanks to Stacey for taking us on her friend date and for sharing her book with our readers.
US/Canada only. Giveaway ends June 2nd at midnight EST.