Mar 26, 2009

Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews

I received my copy of Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews from Book Club Girl for her BlogTalk Radio Show on March 25 at 7PM. Check at the end of this post for my thoughts on the show.

About the book (from the author's Web site):

Chef extraordinaire Gina Foxton doesn't expect anything to be handed to her on a platter. After years of hard work, the former runner-up Miss Teen Vidalia Onion is now the host of her own local Georgia public television show called "Fresh Start," and she's dating the show's producer.

But when her show gets canceled, and she catches her boyfriend in flagrante delicto with the boss's wife, Gina realizes that she's meant for bigger and better things. The Cooking Channel is looking for its next star, and Gina is certain that she fits the bill. Trouble is, the execs also have their eye on Mr. "Kill It and Grill It" Tate Moody, the star of a hunting, fishing, and cooking show called "Vittles." Tate is the ultimate man's man, with a dog named Moonpie and a penchant for flannel shirts. Little does Gina know, though, that she and Tate are soon to embark on the cook-off of their lives.

Mary Kay Andrews' Deep Dish stars Gina Foxton an older sister who is eager to please, cautious, and naive when it comes to men. Tate Moody is the man's man, grills, hunts, and loves the outdoors. Throw these two in a pot and stir. The results are hilarious, spicy, and steamy. In addition to these polar opposites, you have Gina's ex, Scott, who is out for himself and every woman he can get his hands on; Gina's sister, Lisa, who operates without a compass, is passionate, and unable to commit; Val, Tate's chain smoking, pressure cooker; Moonpie, Tate's adorable pooch; and let's not forget D'John, the gay, hair stylist and makeup artist with a heart of gold.

As an aside, one of my favorite character was Moonpie; he seemed to soften the edges the characters create for themselves in an attempt to defend themselves against pain. D'John, the makeup and hair stylist for Gina and Tate, is outrageous, and he provides each of the characters an anchor and support column. Mary Kay Andrews does a great job creating well rounded main and supporting characters.

"'Oh, my God,' Lisa said. 'D'John is so awesome. I love his place. And he always gives me samples of the coolest makeup and stuff. Lemme go too, okay?'

'Deal,' Gina said. 'Just one thing.'

'What now?'

'While I'm in the shower, you change your clothes. We are not leaving these premises with you dressed like some hoochie-mama.'

'D'John's gay, Geen,' Lisa said. 'He so is not looking at me that way.'" (Page 75)

The impending cancellation of Gina's regional cooking show, pushes her into a reality show cook-off with Tate Moody, who has a successful outdoor hunting and cooking show. Food Fight is where the fun really picks up and Gina is forced to go out and forage Eutaw Island for ingredients before she can whip up a meal and dessert to impress three famous cooks, one of whom hates her guts. Tate Moody is in for the fight of his life even in spite of his hunting prowess as he is forced to make amazing meals out of regular household ingredients, including Frosted Flakes, to impress three judges, even one who hates his guts.

Deep Dish is a look at how one woman can dig deep within herself to find the courage to take ahold of her life and her destiny as well as a book that examines how each of us holds something back from the world and will only reveal our own personality gems to those we love.

Some of the best parts of this book occur when the reality show begins, and though some of the plot is predictable, it is done in a refreshing and new way. Southern cooking is the crux, and readers will be exposed to cuisine they may not see otherwise. Gina's flashbacks to her family life and her mother's cooking are vivid and enjoyable. These sections will likely remind readers of times when they smelled certain foods that evoke memories from their childhoods. If you need a light read, this is the book for you.

Book Club Girl's Show:

I really love how much food plays a role in Mary Kay Andrews' life and her relationship with her husband. Though she hasn't thought about writing a cookbook, she would be open to the idea. My favorite little tidbit was about her writing space and how she hangs up all her book jackets on the walls of her writing space to keep herself motivated and writing. And Moonpie is based upon her setter Wyatt--too adorable for words.

About the Author:

Mary Kay Andrews is the author of the New York Times bestselling SAVANNAH BREEZE and BLUE CHRISTMAS, (HarperCollins) as well as HISSY FIT, LITTLE BITTY LIES and SAVANNAH BLUES, all HarperPerennial.

A former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she wrote ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, under her "real" name, which is Kathy Hogan Trocheck.

She has a B.A. in newspaper journalism from The University of Georgia (go Dawgs!), and is a frequent lecturer and writing teacher at workshops including Emory University, The University of Georgia's Harriet Austin Writer's Workshop, the Tennessee Mountain Writer's Workshop and the Antioch Writer's Workshop. Her mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Awards.

Married for more than 31 years to her high school sweetheart, Tom, she is the mother of 24-year-old Katie Abel and 20-year-old Andrew. After a three-year hiatus in Raleigh, NC, she and her husband recently moved back to their old neighborhood in Atlanta, where they live in a restored 1926 Craftsman bungalow.

Check out her blog here.

Also Reviewed By:
Redlady's Reading Room
Diary of an Eccentric


bermudaonion said...

Great review! I just finished listening to last night's show.

Serena said...

It was great, but short!

Ramya said...

that's a really nice review Serena! I hadn't heard of the author or her books until now (surprising since I live in Atlanta and went to school at Emory). Anyways, this is definitely one book that would love to read!:)

Serena said...

Ramya: I guess she's written some mysteries under her real name: Kathy Hogan Trocheck! I really liked this book and may pick up some others she's written.

And Anna and I don't usually have the same review schedule. :) LOL

Anna said...

This was a fun book. D'John totally rocked!

Diary of an Eccentric

Lenore said...

This does sound cute! I will have to recommend it to my stepmother.

Serena said...

It is very cute, Lenore!

Bcteagirl said...

Thanks for the review! I will keep this one in mind next time I need a 'beach read'

Janel said...

You know I want this one! Great review. I loved the snippet of dialogue.

Gwen Ann Wilson said...

Hey there! What an awesome review :) Thanks so much :D I love it.
To those who are interested on having a career in Atlanta Georgia, please visit New Jobs in Atlanta Georgia for the latest job of the day review.

Literary Feline said...

I'm not sure this is something I would like, but it does sound right up my mother's alley. With summer coming and her months free to read whatever she wants, I'll be sure and recommend this one to her. Great review, Serena!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

I haven't read this one, but I always love the BCG interviews!

It doesn't surprise me that your favorite part was when she "dished" about her writing space (yes, intentional bad pun)

Red lady-Bonnie said...

I wasn't a huge fan of the book but I really enjoyed the author chat! Do you mind if I add a link to your review on my blog? I'm going to have a giveaway for my gently read copy.

Ladytink_534 said...

All this interest in this book lately made me unpack it. I hope to read it before we move to the new house. I should have already done so since I've had it since it was published!

Serena said...

BCTEAGIRL: I think this will be a great beach read.

Janel: I think you will love this one.

Gwen: Thanks for stopping by and checking out the review. I try to keep ads off this blog however.

Literary Feline: I need a light read once in a while and chicklit will fill the bill most of the time...these are great for summer reading.

Dawn: LOL you and the puns...I can't resist those either.

Red Lady: feel free to link my review. I will check out your giveaway and post info in the sidebar

LadyTink: It will go by quick, so I think you will finish it before you move. I hope you like it.

Jenners said...

Sounds like a nice fun book. Love the cover...and I don't think I could watch the Food Network the same way again!

Ladytink_534 said...

You were right! I did finish it before I moved lol.