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Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

I really love Sarah Addison Allen's books! My absolute favorite of hers is "Garden Spells," but each one of her novels are magical and special in their own way. Her latest book, "The Girl Who Chased The Moon," is a charming tale of family, love and wishes that can come true!


Emily Benedict didn’t know what to expect when she arrived in the tiny town of Mullaby, North Carolina. But she surely did not expect to find secrets in every hushed whisper, fanciful lights that flitted around in the night, or a boy who would change her life.

After her mother’s death, Emily comes to live with her grandfather, a gentle giant of a man named Vance Shelby. Emily’s mother, Dulcie, had told her nothing about her hometown or her family, but everyone in Mullaby seems to know everything about Dulcie and a long-ago scandal that had sent her fleeing from the small town. And now they all want to know about Emily as well. She finds a couple of friendly allies in an unusual boy, Win Coffey, who insists they have a shared history, and with her grandfather’s neighbor, Julia Winterson.

Julia has returned to Mullaby to settle her father’s estate, and has ended up staying to run his barbeque restaurant. She has become known for her fabulous cakes, and it’s her dream to open her own bakery someday, but it’s so hard to be a success in a town who only remembers your past. Only a former beau, Sawyer Alexander, seems to understand Julia’s passion and desire to bake cakes.

The past also haunts Win Coffey, whose family secrets hold him a virtual captive to his home during the night, and whose growing affection for Emily causes him to want to expose those secrets once and for all. But a family tragedy from long ago threatens to keep the young couple apart.

Sarah Addison Allen creates a fanciful world with “The Girl Who Chased The Moon,” where the wallpaper changes to suit the inhabitant’s mood, where delicious cakes send spirals of glittery messages of hope, and where the moon can bring out the glowing best in some, love can triumph over all adversity if given a chance. With a story chalked full of magical fantasy and realistic situations, Allen delights her readers once again with an imaginative and creative tale that is sure to become an instant classic.

Be sure to check out Sarah's novels, "Garden Spells" and "The Sugar Queen" - you'll be glad you did!






Check out Sarah's website (http://www.sarahaddisonallen.com/) for a fun contest with special giveaways for each of her three books!



One of the most delicious cakes described in "The Girl Who Chased The Moon" was Julia's Hummingbird Cake! Here is the recipe that Sarah shares on her website -



Hummingbird Cake


Ingredients:


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped firm ripe banana


Directions:


Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together. Add eggs and oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple and pecans. Stir in the bananas last.
Spoon the batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in 350 degree oven, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting.



CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a standing mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until ingredients combine. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix.



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