Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fridays special is...Bobby's Diner!

The title of today's book sounds like competition for our beloved Book Roast. Pull up a chair and tuck in your napkin to find out more about writer Susan Wingate and her novel, BOBBY'S DINER.

BOBBY’S DINER is a story of a woman trying to find herself in a town where nobody wants her. Georgette Carlisle, twenty-five when she saunters into the rustic town of Sunnydale, Arizona, snags husband, Bobby, away from another woman, Vanessa Carlisle. After he dies - fifteen years later when the story begins - he leaves his restaurant called Bobby's Diner to both women. But, that's not the only problem. Bobby's Diner, situated on an attractive highway corridor property, is slated as the next boutique tourist site and sits smack in way of Zach Pinzer's dreams and future with Chariot International Incorporated, a large developer headquartered in Phoenix. Even after Zach arranges to destroy their property and fatally wounds their beloved busboy and gardener, he nearly kills Roberta, Vanessa's daughter. Georgette and Vanessa hold fast to the only thing they have, each other, and they fight. Georgette's story tells a tale of life, love, death, grief, pain, loneliness, and redemption. And, she finds her true family with the most unexpected people.


For the reading of Bobby’s will, the attorneys sat Vanessa—the ex, Roberta (Bobby and Vanessa’s daughter), and me in a conference room together. I was instructed to bring a lawyer, as were the other two ladies. I didn’t. That sort of thing isn’t in me. Vanessa did. The lawyer read Bobby’s will. It was pretty much as I expected. I got the house we shared, most of the money accounts, Roberta received $200 thousand dollars in a fund her father had set aside for her upon his death. Then, the lawyer read further. Bobby did something none of us expected. He gave me half the interest in the diner and Vanessa, the other half!

Just like Bobby to be equitable.

Finally, the lawyer read a statement Bobby had handwritten before he died. The note said something about his guilt for leaving Vanessa, but his great love for me, about Vanessa’s interest of nearly half her life spent building the diner, and my creativity to keep it going. Have you ever heard the term ‘livid’ before? Well, Vanessa’s face turned every shade of livid I’ve ever seen. I remember sitting there and imagining her head filling up like one of those water balloons at the fair and exploding right off her shoulders. Her lawyer patted her hand and told her “not to worry.” I giggled to myself at the mess of it all, said my “thank yous” and “goodbyes” to his former family and the lawyers, and I left feeling pretty good too considering what had just happened. Financially, I was solid and didn’t need to worry about money for a while, anyway.

I closed the diner for three weeks. When I went back to reopen, Vanessa was there waiting outside the door. She offered to buy my interest. I told her I had no intention of selling and offered to buy hers. She fumed at my boldness and told me she’d never sell. Bobby knew I was stubborn as a mule in a blizzard and he knew his former wife had some of my same shortcomings.

“Well, isn’t this a fine mess.” Vanessa threw her hands up and when they came down, they landed on her lap as she sat hard against the window’s ledge.

“Guess Bobby had the last laugh, huh?” I looked out onto the day with one hand protecting my face from the bright sun. It was early spring then and the cacti were putting on a show that would embarrass the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, gorgeous.

“Since this place is now legally half mine, I want a key.” Vanessa was indignant.

“Fine. After José gets here, I’ll have him run up to Charlie’s to get his copied.”

Vanessa let out a small huff and stood back up. “What are we supposed to do now?”

“Well, the diner needs managing. I guess we manage it.”

“Together?” She put her hands on her hips.

“What else can we do?”

“It just won’t work.”

“Why is that, Vanessa? After all these years, do you still hate me so much?”

“Oh, hell, I could care less about you.” She turned away and looked out over the burgeoning desert. “How’s this gonna look to the folks around here? Did you ever think about that?”

“I just put my husband in the ground. I guess I haven’t had too much time to worry about what people are thinking.”

“He was my husband too.” She scowled when she looked at me. I couldn’t very well argue her point and decided by the look of her, saying nothing was best.

Visit Susan's website and find purchasing information here

Check out Susan's blog here

Win a copy of Bobby's Diner with a fun and creative answer to the following question....

What would you like to find on the menu at Bobby's Diner?


Shona Snowden said...

Yum! Let's go!

Hywela Lyn said...

This sounds a really intriging read Shona.

As for what Id like to find on the menu at Bobby's - there's only one answer to that, CHOCOLATE! (But not what an ex boyfriend of mine who was a talented, if slightly unconventional chef, served up at his restaurant - chocolated coated RABBIT"!)

Hywela Lyn said...

Sorry Susan, tht should have been addressed to you as well as Shona, of course!

Chris Eldin said...

LOVE the title!! And the excerpt is hysterical!!
I want whatever Meg Ryan is having...

Rachel said...

Whoa, what a premise! Very intriguing!

And on the menu I suppose I'd like to see Celestial Seasoning's Tension Tamer tea...sounds like they might need it. :)

(lol, Chris)

Susan Wingate said...

Hello Ladies!
These are hysterical comments...
Glad you liked the exerpt. This little book, a book I didn't take out of my drawer for 2 years before starting to submit it, has just placed as a Finalist in the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards! I'm thrilled (obviously). Well, again, thanks for the funny comments - love 'em! -Susan

Chris Eldin said...

Congratulations Susan!! WOOOHOOO!!! That's awesome news!!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Congrats to Susan as well! And on the menu, chicken fried chicken.

Dave Fragments said...

I like the plot. It's complicated and messy just like life.

Menu item: Po'Boy

Chris V said...

sounds like a fun book to read! I think the two women will concoct a recipe together - a two-layer cake with chocolate, strawberries and whipped cream - call it By Bobby's Girls. :>) who can resist dessert?

Chris Verstraete

Unknown said...

I would like to find Justin Timberlake on the menu.

Ladytink_534 said...

Love the premise! What about some kind of dessert like a mini poundcake pre-cut in half and call them Diners?

Chris Eldin said...

Y 'all makin' me hungry! Though, that's not too hard to do...

KR said...

Even though it's Arizona, how bout some good ole Suthern cooking - fried chicken, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, cornbread and banana puddin' !!!

Jackie B. said...

What a great excerpt. I look forward to reading this one. As far as a menu item I would like to see... I would have to say it is very hard to pass up an All-American hamburger( with cheese) with a pickle spear and a side of good ol' greasy french fries loaded with cheese. And for dessert what about something called "the Grand Canyon Banana Split" since the diner is in Arizona? Now that is a fine meal for any diner!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Susan, Shona,
Very cool premise and the writing reeled me in, soooo I'll say: Catch of the Day: Prawns in the Game. Dessert: Humble Pie

Shona Snowden said...

Congratulations Susan, that's great news.

These answers are hilarious and/or delicious. Justin Timberlake, LOL. As for the rest of you I've just had breakfast and you're making me hungry again!

Jacqueline C. said...

German chocolate cake, biscuits, steak omlettes, brownie sundaes, chocolate malts and chili cheese fries!

laughingwolf said...

welcome susan, and grats on making 'finalist'... nice pick, shona :)

on the menu: toad-in-a-hole :O lol

laughingwolf said...

Toad in a Hole

Toad in a Hole is a very simple dish that the kids just love!

Simply prepare the Yorkshire Pudding batter as directed, and pour over the sausages and bake.

Use high gluten bread flour for best results.

Preheat baking dish in oven for about 10 minutes with 2 tsp (10 ml) olive oil and 2 small pats of butter.

Lightly beat eggs, add milk and lightly beat in the flour and seasonings

Swirl the oil mixture to coat the dish and then place the sausages in it, pour the batter over the sausages and bake at 375°F or 190°C.

Bake until batter is golden brown and firm - about 40-45 minutes, test for interior doneness with a skewer.

Serve with gravy and lots of mashed potatoes.

6 - 8 precooked beef sausages (Johnsonville Brats are recommended)

olive oil and butter

2 eggs (must be at room temperature)

2 cups milk (500ml)

2 cups flour (284 gm)

salt, pepper and seasoning to taste

You might also like:

Roast Beef studded with Garlic

English Roast Beef

Hearty Beef Stew with Tomatoes

Storm Mountain Stew

Irish Stew

Cornish Pasty Pie

Real Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie with Crust

Canadian Pork Pie

A Brief History of Yorkshire Puddings:

'Yorkshires' have a humble origin back in the Middle Ages when they were known as 'dripping pudding'.

The batter was cooked in a pan under the meat that was being roasted so the fat and flavours from the meat were incorporated into the pudding.

It was used as a 'filler' in hard times when there wasn't enough meat to go around, and even used as a main course on its own with onion gravy.

Hannah Glasse, a housewife is credited with upgrading the original Dripping Pudding recipe to its status of Yorkshire Pudding.

Her cookbook, The Art of Cookery, was published in 1747, and was the best of its kind for decades.

Toad in a Hole is an old variant on Yorkshire Pudding.

Chelle Cordero said...

Yikes! I wonder how this will all work out.

Shona Snowden said...

Wow, LW, you are nothing if not thorough! I've actually never made that for the kids, I might give it a go soon!

Susan, I'm closing up the bar...want to pick a winner?

Llehn said...

What would I want to find on the menu? Well, I haven't been out on a date in years so how about beefcake with lots and lots of hot sauce?

laughingwolf said...

thx shona, as with anything, experiment... adding one thing, or leaving one thing out, may make a huge difference... it did when my kids were small... my son still won't eat mushrooms :)

Miss Mae said...

Susan, I didn't know you'd been roasted! And now here I've missed all the fun! LOL

Miss Mae

Susan Wingate said...

Okay! So, now I have the tough duty of picking a winner? Well, there were so many great ones but I'll have to say I loved Bridget's about Justin Timberlake... I too am a JT fan and darn if I didn't leave that juicy morsel off the menu! What a dolt! So, there you have it. brigdet3420 gets the book! -Susan :) P.S. thanks for all of the comments, really fun.