Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Book Spotlight/Press Release: Sweet Expectations by Mary Ellen Taylor

Mary Ellen Taylor's SWEET EXPECTATIONS takes readers back to the Union Street Bakery where Daisy McCrae is confronted by both a seventy-year-old mystery demanding to be heard and an unexpected, life-changing turn of events.

SWEET EXPECATIONS, A Union Street Bakery Novel, is a Berkley Trade Paperback Original

"When Daisy McCrae's already semi-scrambled life abruptly turns even more upside down, it leads to deeper soul-searching, exploration of family ties, and a quest for the ultimate meaning of her purpose and direction...with Daisy's narration alternating with her sister Rachel's, the story unfurls at a slow yet steady pace, nicely layering characters, subplots and backstory." --Booklist

"Sweet and totally satisfying . . . absorbing characters, a hint of mystery and touching self-discovery."--RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)

“A wonderful story about sisters, family, and the things that matter most. I loved this beautifully written journey of self-discovery.” --Wendy Wax, author of While We Were Watching Downton Abbey and Ten Beach Road

"Lots of good character development as Daisy comes to terms with herself and her family, deals with a couple of ghosts, and there are even a few recipes at the end. Thoroughly enjoyed this book." --New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney at Word Wenches

"This book has mystery, history, a little romance, the paranormal, and a strong family saga. Nothing is over the top. Even the ghosts are just a thread in the pattern. Readers will love Daisy and the McCrae family and be engrossed in both the historical and the present puzzles Daisy and her family must solve. Taylor never takes the simple plot path or gives in to melodrama. The story feels real . . . highly recommended for anyone who loves family stories with intelligence and heart." --Blogcritics

“Taylor serves up a great mix of vivid setting, history, drama and everyday life in THE UNION STREET BAKERY. Here’s hoping she writes more like it.” --Herald-Sun, Durham, NC

"A superbly written book with emotional issues handled in a sensitive and delicate manner, and a finish with a feel-good ending." -- The Courier, Montgomery County, Texas

 "Daisy is dealing with her past, her future, and just trying to get through one day at a time. You'll want to go through this journey with her. This first women's fiction novel by Richmond area author Mary Ellen Taylor will speak to you with the beauty of the writing, as well as, the story." --Examiner (Richmond)

About the book:
Mary Ellen Taylor returns to Old Town Alexandria and the Union Street Bakery in SWEET EXPECTATONS, A Union Street Bakery Novel. Picking up the story of Daisy McCrae, the struggling bakery and the McCrae family, Mary Ellen fast forwards a few short, but amazingly busy months following events in The Union Street Bakery. Plenty has changed, including the store’s finances, which no longer teeter on the brink of disaster. 

The bakery is undergoing long needed renovation, including moving the original oven and installing a wine cellar as part of Daisy’s plans to increase profits and help the family business thrive. Since her return to help rescue the bakery from financial disaster, she’s come to terms (almost) with a life away from big finance and the perks of her former career. Adopted, and having finally found her birth mother, she’s also been able to put aside the rejection and sense of failure that have haunted her since being abandoned at the bakery as a toddler. In fact, these days’ it’s difficult for her to imagine not being back at the bakery, smack in the center of her family’s lives and, surprisingly, back in the arms of her former fiancĂ©, Gordon, another corporate refugee who’s found peace in the historic neighborhood.

As the remodeling gets underway, discoveries emerge. Jean Paul finds a metal box containing dog tags and recipes hidden within a wall in the kitchen. Rachel is learning she just may be able to enjoy the company of men, including Jean Paul, despite still mourning her late husband. And Daisy? Daisy discovers she’s pregnant following a night of drinking and seeking solace, which took place before she reunited with Gordon. When Daisy tells Gordon the news it doesn’t go well, and when he finds out she intends to make sure the child knows who his father is—a man Gordon detests—it only makes things worse. 

Exhausted from the pace of the remodel, her day-long “morning” sickness and the pain of losing Gordon, Daisy looks to the mystery of the hidden recipes for distraction. In addition to the dog tags, the box contains a photo of a young woman with two men in uniform, marked “Jenna 1944.” Who was she? Why was the box hidden? Who was the man whose name is on the dog tags? Most of all, Daisy wants to know why she’s having recurring dreams about a woman searching for her lost baby and keeps hearing whispers of the words “find them?” 

In SWEET EXPECTATIONS, Mary Ellen Taylor brings readers an intimate story echoing the emotion and sensitivity of The Union Street Bakery, as she explores dreams lost and found, the fear and joy of becoming a mother, and how the meaning of family transcends both time and DNA.

About the author:
Mary Ellen Taylor grew up in a southern family that embraced stories of all kinds, from a well-told anecdote to a good yarn or a tall tale. It may have been inevitable that Taylor would take her storytelling heritage to new heights, moving beyond the oral tradition to become a published author. 

An accomplished baker, Mary Ellen shares some of the challenges and comforts of those pursuits in SWEET EXPECTATIONS and The Union Street Bakery. On a more intimate level, she also explores adoption and family in both books, an interest which stems from her own family. Her grandmother was adopted as was her daughter, and Mary Ellen has been active in bringing attention to issues regarding adoption, including the concerns faced by adoptees through adulthood. 

Mary Ellen was born and has spent most of her life in Richmond, but also lived in Alexandria for four years. She received her degree in English from Virginia’s Hollins University, and worked in marketing and sales before she committed to writing full time. Today, she is well known for her suspense novels written as Mary Burton. Her twenty books and four novellas have brought praise from readers and reviewers and her work has appeared on The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. The Union Street Bakery was her first novel as Mary Ellen Taylor. 

When not writing or appearing at conferences and book signings, Mary Ellen continues her culinary pursuits. She's been a kitchen assistant for more than fifty culinary classes over the past seven years at Sur la Table and at the University of Richmond's Culinary Arts program, where she is currently completing her Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate. In addition to spending time with her family and her two miniature dachshunds, Buddy and Bella, Mary Ellen enjoys baking, cooking and hiking.

For more information, visit the following: websitefacebooktwitter

A Union Street Bakery Novel
Mary Ellen Taylor
A Berkley Trade Paperback/Original/Fiction
On Sale November 5, 2013/ $15.00 ($16.00 Canada)
978-0-425-25970-2 • 0-425-25970-6


***Be sure to come back on November 12th when I'll be posting my review (along with a giveaway) and then come back again on the 13th when Mary Ellen will be providing a guest post and sharing some recipes.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Take II: Lovely presentation! I expect that this book is a touching one. :)


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