Thursday, May 19, 2011

Virtual Book Tour, Review and Giveaway: Friendship Bread by Darien Gee (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)


First line: Leon adjusts the 25mm Plossl eyepiece and swings his scope toward the heavens.

About the book: It’s more than just a recipe—it’s a way of life. 

For fans of Kristin Hannah and Kate Jacobs, Darien Gee’s deeply felt and utterly charming novel follows two estranged sisters, three newfound friends, and—ultimately—a whole town brought together by a simple loaf of Amish Friendship Bread.

In Avalon, Illinois, a woman and her young daughter return home to find a plate of Amish Friendship Bread along with a bag of starter on their doorstep. There’s no note, just a yellow sticky with the words, “I hope you enjoy it.” The instructions tell them to feed the starter over a ten-day period, then bake two loaves and share the remaining starter with three other people.

At the insistence of her five-year old daughter, Julia Evarts reluctantly follows the instructions. Soon, the bread and its starter are making their way through the town of Avalon, touching the lives of its residents in ways both comical and unexpected. Julia befriends Madeline Davis, 74, owner and proprietor of Madeline’s Tea Salon and Antiques who harbors a secret of her own, and Hannah de Brisay, 28, a concert cellist who relocates to Avalon after the premature end of her career and marriage.

Julia’s sister, Livvy, is struggling with her own loneliness as she and her husband, Tom, try for a child of their own. Julia’s husband, Mark, is tired of the sadness that seems to have taken over their lives for the past five years. As the town of Avalon becomes overrun with the Amish Friendship Bread starter, a kernel of a story presents itself and activist and reporter Edie is quick to jump on it, even if it means pointing a finger at Julia as the instigator and dividing the small community that they live in.

When a neighboring town is devastated by high floods, Julia and her friends supply loaves of the bread to the residents and volunteers. As word spreads, so does help. Soon the entire town of Avalon is doing their part to aid their neighbors in need as they put their differences aside. Friendship Bread is a captivating, engaging novel about life and loss, friendship and community, and what endures even when the unthinkable happens.

My thoughts:  I had never heard of friendship bread until reading this book and now I want to bake some myself and then try some of the variations that are included in the back of the book. In Friendship Bread Darien Gee weaves a tale of mystery, intrigue, humor, infidelity, tragedy and how a bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter and a recipe bring a community, family, and friends, old and new, together.

The story centers on three residents of the town of Avalon who find themselves at a crossroads in their lives: Julia, whose grief for her son has alienated her from her husband, her sister, and her parents; Hannah, who must come to terms with the possibility that her marriage may be over; and Madeline, who is seeking to make amends for the past. The lives of these three women intertwine thanks to an Amish Friendship Bread starter left at Julia's door. As the baking and gifting of the bread spreads through Avalon, Darien Gee's narrative not only continues on the three women's growing friendship, but also touches on the influence the bread has on their neighbors and ultimately, on the whole town. From just 1 bag of Amish bread starter, new friends are made, families are brought back together, and women start trusting in others and their selves again. By the end, Operation Friendship Bread brings the entire town together. At Madeline's Tea Salon, there was a room made for the "The Amish Friendship Bread Club," the growing group of women brought together by the culinary treat and made it their ongoing mission to bake for families, organizations and communities in need.

I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to Darien Gee's next Avalon novel!



About the author: Darien Gee lives with her husband and three children in Hawaii. She is the bestselling author of three previous novels (Good Things, Sweet Life and Table Manners) written under the name Mia King. You can visit Darien Gee’s website at www.friendshipbreadkitchen.com. And check out the Friendship Bread Kitchen Facebook fan page.


 I received a complimentary copy of Friendship Bread by Darien Gee from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour.


Giveaway Information:

The publisher has provided one copy of Friendship Brad to give away to one of my readers.  Entries are open to those from the US and Canada only.

To enter leave a comment including your email address.

For extra entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):

+1 Follow this blog (If you are already a follower, just mention that in the comment.)
+1 Blog about this giveaway (Posting the giveaway on your sidebar is also acceptable.)

3 entry maximum. 
Don't forget to LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT for each entry.


Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

GIVEAWAY ENDS
AT 6 PM, EST, JUNE 2nd

33 comments:

  1. I Kristin, I of course am following your blog! I absolutely loved your review and am dying to read this book. Amish friendship bread holds a special place in my heart, I might even have a recipe for starter kicking around here somewhere if there isn't one in the book!

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  2. I guess this is technically my "1st" entry with my email! ;)

    handsandhome@gmail.com

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  3. @Bonnie Not only is there the original/plain starter recipe, there are also many different variations for making the bread - at least 10 variations! I've never tried it, but am definitely thinking of giving it a go!

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  4. No need to enter me in the giveaway. I read and loved this book as well. That bread sure sounded mouth watering. I have some yeast I just bought and is waiting for me to start my starter. I can't wait to try the recipes in the book and on the website. Great story!

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  6. I have heard a lot about this book. It sounds great!

    brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

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  7. Thanks for the great review of Darien's latest. I'm glad you enjoyed it and that so many are interested in reading it.

    Good luck to all who enter the giveaway.

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  8. When I was younger, the friendship cake starter was past around. And I remember it was very tasty. I would love to win this book and read it.

    iowagramma.ann@gmail.com

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  9. I follow you on GFC.

    iowagramma.ann@gmail.com

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  10. You are on my sidebar.

    iowagramma.ann@gmail.com

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  11. I think it sounds like a wonderful book.

    meah56 at gmail dot com

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  12. I'm a GFC follower :)

    meah56 at gmail dot com

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  13. Sounds Great
    GFC follower
    vidishamun@gmail.com

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  14. This books sounds great!

    jesse.nicole.paul (at) gmail (dot) com

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  15. I'm a follower :)

    jesse.nicole.paul (at) gmail (dot) com

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  16. I'm so excited about this giveaway!!!! I've been wanting to read this one! Thanks so much for the giveaway! I am also a blog follower.

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  17. This book sounds amazing....

    GFC follower

    vidishamun@gmail.com

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  18. Looking forward to starting the book next Friday, Memorial Day weekend. Will prepare my starter on this day while sipping on a mimosa (lol). Have visited several blogs and most people love this book. Posting on my FB page to see who wants to join me in reading the book, making the starter and sharing the love and hopefully my free book.

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  19. oops forgot my email: db1_johnson@yahoo.com. loving books and mimosa's

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  20. I don't think I have ever heard of friendship bread either but this book sounds like a wonderful introduction to it. I always love books that include recipes in the back!

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  21. I'm interested. Count me in!
    mbamster0720 at gmail dot com

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  22. i follow you already.
    mbamster0720 at gmail dot com

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  23. posting on my winning wednesday blog tomorrow at chicklitcentraltheblog.blogspot.com. check back later tomorrow morning.

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  24. I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  25. Thanks for the chance!

    unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  26. I think this is such a lovely idea. I want to bake some of this bread myself. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

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  27. +1 I Follow with GFC.

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

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  28. I would love to read this book!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

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  29. GFC follower

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

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  30. I'm a new follower of your blog! (via GFC)

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  31. ...and I'm having trouble posting comments!
    Anyway, I'm a new follower of your blog via GFC.
    I've heard a lot of good things about 'Friendship Bread' and I look forward to reading it.
    jcsites2002 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  32. Sounds like a good book. I'd like to read it.

    jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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