The Runaway Bridesmaid
Squeezing herself into a frothy, flouncy, bubble-gum pink dress, Rosie Hamilton thinks that being a bridesmaid for her spoilt little sister Freya can’t get any worse.
But discovering her boyfriend in bed with the bride, ten minutes before Freya is due to say ‘I do’, is the icing on the sequinned wedding cake – and Rosie’s cue to pack her bags.
Swapping her Louboutins for Wellingtons, Rosie throws her bridesmaid bouquet in the air and flies from bustling New York to sleepy Devon. Her late Aunt Bernice’s cosy countryside cottage is the only place that’s ever felt like home.
Now, for the first time in her life, and with the help of her beloved Aunt’s diaries, Rosie must put herself first for a change – and decide what she really wants…
Rosie Hamilton Character profile
Have you ever wanted to run away from a situation and never look back? I’m sure most of us have been in that situation when the flight or fight instinct kicks in. But would you run away from your sister’s wedding - when you are holding the bridesmaid’s posy?
Well, that’s exactly what Rosie Hamilton did. A fancy wedding in Connecticut which she had single-handedly arranged for her beloved, but spoilt little sister, fabulous, floaty dresses and flowers and catering - she left it all behind. After finding Freya in the linen closet with her wedding date, she slings her bouquet out of the window and storms away in her hired red roadster. Enough was enough!
And whilst Rosie adores the vibrant buzz of Manhattan, its vertiginous glass buildings, its quirky, cosmopolitan residents and its awestruck tourists, she needs to get away from the overwhelming sense of loneliness that had infused her bones. So she ditches her Louboutins for Wellies and flies off to London - well, Devon to be precise - where she holes up in her late Aunt Bernice’s thatched cottage hoping that her heartache seeps away.
Rosie doesn’t know what to do with herself in the tiny hamlet of Brampton where there’s only the village shop, the village fête for entertainment. But then she discovers her Aunt’s illustrated recipe journal entitled ‘Bake Yourself Better’. Not only is the diary crammed with beautiful drawings of flowers and herbs, it is also contains recipes to ‘bake yourself better’.
She decides to take her aunt’s advice.
The first recipe Rosie tries just has to be …‘Strawberry Tarts for Broken Hearts’ where her aunt has recorded:
‘Strawberries are often referred to as the fruit of love. When the strawberries in this recipe are sliced as directed they appear heart-shaped, bursting with sweetness and zinging with a luscious rich red, the colour of love and passion. They are nutrient-rich and packed with healthy antioxidants, especially if grown in your own garden! Some believe they possess healing qualities and can alleviate melancholy. And if that isn’t enough to tempt you, darling Rosie, the strawberry plant is part of the rose family.’
And she sets to, to bake, bake, bake until she’s liberally doused in flour and sugar and exhausted from her culinary exploits.
There are many other recipes to try out on a wet April afternoon - ‘Fig Delights for Passion-filled Nights’ and ‘Sweet Basil Biscuits for New Love Interests’ - all of which Rosie bakes - with varying degrees of success.
But will Rosie find the solace she craves? Or the love and happiness her aunt has urged her to find?
All will be revealed in The Runaway Bridesmaid!
Here is a taster for your blog readers
Sweet Basil Biscuits for New Love Interests
150g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
75g ground almonds
150g plain flour, sieved
Large bunch of basil
Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the ground almonds and mix. Fold in the flour and knead gently. Wash the basil and dry with a paper towel. Remove stalks and chop. Roll the basil into the mixture until it resembles a speckled green sausage 8-10 cm in diameter. Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for ten minutes whilst you clear up. Cut into biscuits approx. 1 cm think and place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden (gas mark 6, 200˚C). Cool on a wire rack.
Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. Her husband and young son were willing samplers of her baking creations which were triple-tested for her debut novel, The Runaway Bridesmaid. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea - china plates and teacups are a must.
Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks, especially if they have given any of the recipes in her book a whirl... photos are very welcome.
I’d love to hear from readers who’ve tried out any of the recipes in The Runaway Bridesmaid - either via Facebook or Twitter or Instagram - and photos would be a bonus!!!
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Happy Reading Everyone.