Thursday, October 23, 2014

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Christmas At The Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Tasty Book Tours, for Christmas at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan.  Please leave a comment or question for Christy to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter Form below.  You can also follow the rest of her tour here,  the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.

Christmas at the Cupcake Café
By Jenny Colgan
Cupcake Café, Book 2

Publisher:  William Morris/Harper Colliins
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Genre: Holiday/Chick-Lit/Romance
Length: 352 Pages
ISBN:  978-0751550337
ASIN:  B00K53EH56

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Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

About the book: 

Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe, is in love and couldn’t be happier. Her new business is thriving and she is surrounded by close friends, even if her cupcake colleagues Pearl and Caroline don’t seem quite as upbeat about the upcoming season of snow and merriment. But when her boyfriend Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to face up to the prospect of a long-distance romance. And when the Christmas rush at the cafe - with its increased demand for her delectable creations - begins to take its toll, Issy has to decide what she holds most dear.

This December, Issy will have to rely on all her reserves of courage, good nature and cinnamon, to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one way or another. . .

Indulge yourself and your sweet-toothed friends with Jenny Colgan’s new novel, simply bursting with Christmas cupcake recipes and seasonal sugar-fuelled fun.


This is not for gingerbread men, which is more of a cookie recipe as it has to stay hard and crunchy.  And it is not for gingerbread houses, unless you have endless time on your hands and (let’s say it quietly) are a bit of a show-off who would rather their cakes were admired than devoured.

No, this is old-fashioned soft, sticky gingerbread. It doesn’t take long to make, but you’ll be glad you did.  NB:  Oil the container before you fill it with treacle. Otherwise you and your dishwasher are going to fall out really badly.

50g white sugar
50g brown sugar
120g butter
1 egg
180ml treacle
300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp powdered cinnamon
1 tbsp powdered ginger (or a little more if you like)
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I just threw in a ‘lucky’ clove)
1/2 tsp salt
60ml hot water

Preheat oven to 175°C/gas mark 3. Grease a loaf tin or square baking tin.

Cream sugar and butter together (you can do this entire thing in the mixer), then add the egg and the treacle. Mix the spices, baking powder, flour and salt. Fold in to wet mixture.

Add the water, then pour into baking tin and bake for 45 minutes. You can sprinkle icing sugar on the top, or make an icing glaze, or just slice it like it is – proper yummy, sticky Christmas gingerbread. Serve liberally to people you like.

Author Info

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including Christmas at the Cupcake Café and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, which are also published by Sphere. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and France.

Author Links


Being a reader who pretty much loves chick-lit romance, I jumped at the chance to read and review Jenny Colgan’s Christmas at the Cupcake Café.  Not only would Ms. Colgan’s book satisfy my craving for a holiday romance, it also includes recipes, which is something I love seeing in books.  Basically it killed two birds with one stone for me.  Filled with colorful characters, snappy dialogue, sweet romance, and recipes (from a British palate), this is a book almost anyone should enjoy.

A year after opening The Cupcake Café, Issy Randal is happy and in love.  Her business is doing well, her employees are working out and her love life is finally going in the right direction.  Looking forward to the upcoming holidays, and being surrounded by her friends, are what she looks forward to the most.  Only when her boyfriend has to travel to New York for business, and he receives a job offer too good to refuse, makes Issy wonder if the Christmas she’s been hoping for will go up in smoke.

Ms. Colgan does a really good job introducing Issy and developing her character; a single woman who’s had more than her share of bad boyfriends; all Issy wants is someone to love who’ll love her back and build a life with her.  Someone like Austin, her current boyfriend, who comes with baggage of his own, a younger brother named Darny.  Living together with boy boys, Issy has begun to feel as if her life is finally all right.  I really connected with Issy because she’s hard working, very likeable and a fellow baker who knows that good ingredients and the right recipe make everything taste better.

The secondary characters, from Austin and Darny, Pearl and Caroline (her employees), and best friend Helena and her family, added plenty of color and emotional angst to the story.  While it’s clear that Austin loves Issy, and that he’s a likeable character, I was a little put off by how easily he was willing to overlook Issy’s contribution to his and Darny’s life when he was making his decision about the future.  That, and the behavior of some of the children in this story, Darny and Helena’s daughter Chandani, are the only things that bothered me.  Otherwise I enjoyed watching how everyone works their issues out. 

Will Issy and Austin figure out what’s best for their future together or decide to part?  What will happen to The Cupcake Café in the future?  You’ll have to read Christmas at the Cupcake Café to find out.  I hope Ms. Colgan writes another story with Issy, Austin and the gang and lets us know what the future brings for all of them.  I’m definitely going to give some of the recipes a go. 

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns


  1. I loved The Cupcake Cafe so much that I bought Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe from a UBS that specialized in English books. Cost a bit more but worth not having to wait a year to get it. These are terrific characters - funny, sweet, touching and a really wonderful contemporary love story. A writer well worth following.