As you can tell from her posts, Alicia is compassionate, creative, and kind. Everything you already like about her comes through in her debut novel, Simply from Scratch, and in her grieving heroine, Zell.
In that post I just linked, she refers to the book “All Come Home” which was subsequently retitled “Simply From Scratch”–and debuts tomorrow! It’s warm and quirky, showing the happiness that can, eventually, come after loss.
The book starts with this terrific sentence:
“I knot Nick’s camouflage apron under my boobs, unable to remember the last time I wore a bra, or preheated the oven. That’s my widow style.”
(That’s a masterclass for aspiring writers right there: “How to get in the backstory that the protagonist’s husband has died, while being active and revealing voice.”)
And it ends with a recipe, for a dessert called “Scrumpy Delight” that, yes, Alicia made up herself (with some help from her mom). I actually don’t like overly sweet things, but this dessert involves goat cheese and pineapple–yum!
As the title implies, cooking figures prominently in Simply from Scratch. Zell used to not cook at all, so literally “not at all” that her husband used the oven as a secret hiding place for gifts he’d bought her. As she tries to get her life back together a year after his death, and cook as a practicality, her pre-heating of the oven, and unwittingly of his last gift, almost burns her house down. That’s the start.
Don’t you want to know what happens next?