Blog Tour: The Stall of Second Chances by Dana Bate

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I was pleased to be part of the book blog tour, especially as I had never read Dana Bate.

This book The Stall of Second Chances is her second novel (and is the US title is A Second Bite at The Apple)

Her first book The Secret Supper Club (as its known in the UK) and The Girls Guide to Love and Supper Clubs (US Version) was released in 2012.

About Dana: Her writing has appeared in numerous outlets, including McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Culinate, Table Matters, and Prior to her writing career, Dana spent five years working as a Washington, DC-based field producer and on-air reporter for the PBS Nightly Business Report, where she won the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for a series she produced on the Indian economy. The award almost made up for the monkey attack she endured while on location. Almost.

In addition to the daily scripts she wrote for NBR, she contributed regularly to the program’s blog, The XChange, where she wrote about everything from health care to Delhi Belly to Warren Buffett’s minions. Unfortunately, the blog no longer exists, and so the detailed, first-person account of her monkey attack has been lost forever. The Internet giveth, and the Internet taketh away.

As an undergraduate, she studied molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University. Don’t worry: the choice doesn’t make sense to her parents either. In her senior year, she became an anchor and reporter for Yale’s one-hour news radio program, The Blueline Report, a show produced in the style of NPR’s All Things Considered. Hooked on the storytelling process, she enrolled in Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where she received a master’s degree and won the Harrington Award for outstanding promise in the field of journalism. These days, when she isn’t writing, she can usually be found in her kitchen, whipping up a new recipe from her extensive cookbook collection. She currently lives outside Philadelphia with her family.


Dana Bate The Stall of Second CHancesMy Rating: 4/5

Availability: Kindle, Paperback and Kobo (released 20.11.14), AKA A Second Bite at The Apple available on Nook (25.11.2014)

Synopsis: Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food.

Not just with eating it - though she loves that too - but with writing about it as an aspiring cookery reporter. But food journalism jobs are more coveted than cupcakes, and so Sydney is stuck working for one of TV's biggest egomaniacs - until she's left scrambling for shifts at the local farmers' market.

Selling muffins at the Wild Yeast Bakery is hardly going to make her the next Nigella. But soon Sydney is writing the market's weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of being left on the shelf, she's even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot at the story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a cinder - along with her relationship and her reputation.

My Review: I really like the cover of this book and the synopsis sounds fun. Sydney Strauss is stuck working for an ego maniac and frankly it’s a million miles away from the job she envisaged herself doing back in her college days. Food is her real love and when she finds herself out of work she ends up with a job very far removed from her dream.

Instead of the dream of being a food journalist she ends up working at a farmers market for Wild Yeast Bakery. Sydney is a funny girl and she comes out with some hilarious one liners in a weird way because she isn’t outwardly trying to be funny. I also fell in love with her boss at the Farmers Market Rick. Her background and history is told to us in snippets and when an interesting man comes along I felt myself holding my breath and wondering what massive blunder Sydney would make next.

I picked this up with little expectation, and found myself thoroughly enthralled and loved the book. There were small things that annoyed me but nothing major enough to mention. I must say that this is perfect Chick Lit reading and all you need is a comfy sofa and a hot brew or glass of wine and you are all set. A highly enjoyable book, and an author I will definitely be looking out for in the future. 

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