Welcome to the next installment of my monthly feature Indie Author Spotlight. Today i am pleased to host fabulous foodie author Isabella May on my blog. Isabella isnt a new to me author in the respect that i follow her on social media and i have had her on my blog previously. But, are you ready? Confession time!! Until reading The Ice Cream Parlour i had never read any of her books previously. So why do i follow her and support her? Simple, she is a fabulous writer, has an infectious personality, shes witty, oozes confidence, shes so pleasant to be around and interact with and her pun game is on point.
Giovanna Tonioli is a successful stockbroker with a famous sports star boyfriend, but things aren’t as sweet as they seem. When life in the city of Bath goes from Vanilla to Rocky Road, she takes herself off to Italy for an ‘Eat Pray Love’ style tour of all things gelateria. What she doesn’t expect to find on her travels is one smooth, hot dollop of temptation that she just can’t shake.
How will her spiteful twin sister react when Giovanna returns to open a rival ice cream parlour? Will Natalia get her just desserts? Or will things become even stickier? All’s fair in love, war and ice cream. Isn’t it?
*Marian Keyes meets Paulo Coelho meets Nigella*
The Ice Cream Parlour is a mouthwatering tale of fate, family, love and jealousy – with a delectable drizzle of alchemy besides.
My Review **** 4 stars https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1V0YZIN51ZJGY/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B07Q3N5XHL
I decided to make it all up as I went along. I also decided it was time to rip up my self-imposed rule book regarding mozzarella. It was impossible to be in Italy as a grown adult and not encounter it. Hell, I was looking forward to encountering it! After months of decision-making stress, I left my team with a precise bunch of instructions, paint brushes, hammers, and
colour swatches in hand. My heart yearned for simplicity; the blank pages of my notebook were twitching in readiness. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it with unparalleled panache; conjuring up the intoxicating and the innovative with all the twists and turns that an artisan can muster. I’d just have to overlook the slight disadvantage that I was a novice. Never mind the foodies of Bath and their Waitrose critique of the culinary, I wanted the whole goddamn world to know where I stood on the map: The Bath Ice Cream Parlour, of Pulteney Bridge, would be the new mainstay of the Lonely Planet’s food guide. Just like the scene from One Hundred and One Dalmatians, news would be barked from friend to friend, city to city, country to country, continent to continent – okay, maybe the latter was a stretch – about my one-of-a-kind ice cream and the way it soothed the soul. I enrolled on a five-day gelato-making
course in San Gimignano. I mean, where better to start any culinary journey than Tuscany? Florence aside, I was ashamed to say I had never set foot in Italy’s most verdant region up to this point. San G may have been the quintessential medieval magnet of a tourist town, but it welcomed me with the warmest embrace and I could have merged into its fairy-tale turreted backdrop and happily stayed there for ever. Although I had remembered – just in the nick of time – to run to the basement, unlock the safe and copy every single ingredient, every single method that went into my father’s gelato, before I’d posted the keys through the letter box on that hideous day, I was, as I say, an amateur in so many ways. Yes, I’d vetted the small ice cream-making premises on the outskirts of Bath that would help get me started; the central production facility making up half of my flavour batches ready for the day I christened my business, so that
the colossal task for my own staff was somewhat relieved. Yes, I had spent countless hours of my life helping Papà with the prep work. And yes, I could write a book about the intricacies of running the business; the fragilities of supply and demand from an economical point of view, the deciphering of the most complex graphs to track consumer eating and buying habits. All of this stood me in good stead. But other than helping my grandmother in her rustic kitchen with her old-fashioned ice cream machine, way back in my childhood, when my father’s parents were among the first to introduce gelato to Capri in the 1930s, I was starting from scratch. Papà had been a stickler for ritual in many ways, and one thing he would never change – until the day he died – was being in sole charge of the base mix and chief operator of the machinery. Small wonder that he’d stuck to his twelve ice cream babies: in reality, he’d never have coped
with the twenty-first century’s upgraded version of supply and demand. God help Natalia when she did step up to the plate, or cornet; a slip of the scissors-style escapade wouldn’t get her very far when it came to running a business. I packed as light as I could – not as tricky as I had initially thought it might be, as July in Tuscany is a month with no need for the burden of catwalk collections of clothes. I hired a shiny electric blue Fiat Panda at Pisa airport, and headed for the blissful retreat of the hills. Home for the next five days was an eco-style villa crossed with a farmhouse in the small, picturesque village of Certaldo – just a stone’s throw away from my foodie school. Breakfast was lovingly served every morning on my sprawling balcony overlooking the carpet of pastures and hills, as the sun shone reliably upon me. There was freshly squeezed orange juice, copious cups of freshly-brewed, local
Italian coffee, massive bowls of fruit, ciabatta and ricotta. Then came the ciambella; a light citrusy sponge cake with just a hint of sweetness. I’m not sure how I ever managed to tear myself away to learn a thing about gelato.
About The Author
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.
As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – http://www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).
She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!
Oh! What a Pavlova is her debut novel…The Cocktail Bar and Costa Del Churos were all published with CrookedCatBooks. The Ice Cream Parlour is Isabella’s fourth novel which she published herself. Find her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMayAuthor/ Find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/IsabellaMayBks Read my interview with Isabella from a previous blog here: https://cookingthebooksreview.home.blog/2019/05/08/indie-authors-and-why-i-support-them/