Good morning! Allow me to (re)introduce myself. I am Jeannie Mobley, one of the founders of EMUs Debuts, and I write historical fiction. Which is why I have been invited to return with a guest post on this great, glorious, momentous day in history.
Yes, my friends. Today, July 14, is Bastille Day! Vive la France!
Yep. I’m here because in 1789, on this very day 225 years ago, the French revolution began with the storming of the Bastille. A revolution that would culminate in overthrowing one of the great monarchies of Europe and see the king, and more notably (at least for my purposes here,) the queen guillotined in front of the populace.
That queen was the beautiful and elegant Marie Antoinette. Beautiful and elegant on the outside, anyway, but so arrogant, and hard-hearted that when she was told that the peasants had no bread, she allegedly replied, “Let them eat cake.”
In truth, it’s unlikely that Marie Antoinette ever said this. The story comes originally from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s autobiographical work Confessions, penned in 1765, when Marie Antoinette was a mere child and the storming of the Bastille was over twenty years away.
Which brings us (obviously) to the Literary History of Cake.
Because while I’ve been trying to educate you on French history, you’ve just been thinking about cake, haven’t you? About the tender sweetness of the layers and the buttery texture. About the chocolaty smoothness on your tongue, and the creamy, dreamy swirls of icing bursting with sugary delight across your tingling taste buds.
Ahem. Where was I? Oh, right.
The literary history of cake.
We might argue that the literary history of cake begins with that great visionary, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and culminates, at least so far, on July 10, 2014 with the release of the
BRAND NEW AND UTTERLY BRILLIANT
ALL FOUR STARS by TARA DAIRMAN
But Tara’s journey with Cake didn’t begin with her debut novel, just as Gladys Gatsby’s journey in ALL FOUR STARS didn’t begin with Cake. In fact, we first meet Gladys preparing a non-cake French dessert, Crème Brulee. I’m not going to give you the details. Suffice it to say, if the French monarchy had had Gladys and her blow torch 125 years ago today, things might have turned out very differently. Vive la France! indeed.
Gladys’s journey takes us through hilarious and astounding feats of cookery, despite her parents demands that she stay out of the kitchen, and on to her accidental assignment reviewing a top New York dessert bakery for a New York newspaper. It culminates not only with cake, but with mouth-watering moments of literary goodness you won’t want to miss.
As for Tara, her journey has included some hilarious encounters with cake as well. Apparently, she has had a long fascination with cake in literature, claiming Roald Dahl’s Matilda as a favorite book, and the cake-eating-torture within it a favorite scene. Tara’s obsession with cake literature has even led her to reenact this scene. On video. On this very blog!
It’s sad, really, where the literary history of cake takes us, isn’t it?
No. No, it isn’t.
Because it takes us, in the end, to THIS FABULOUS WEEK in which EMU’s Debuts is celebrating the release of Tara’s delicious first novel, ALL FOUR STARS (which went by the working title Gladys Gatsby Takes the Cake for a time. Just in case I haven’t mentioned cake enough in this post.)
Congratulations, Tara. Because nothing is sweeter, or bursts more gloriously upon us, than a debut novel. And this one is sweet indeed.
So stick with us all week to celebrate ALL FOUR STARS.
Raise a slice of cake in honor of the event! Then wipe off those sticky fingers of yours and crack open a copy! You’ll find yourself cheering the whole time!
What’s that you say? You don’t have a copy?! Well, there are three things you can do about that: buy one at your local bookstore, check one out at your local library, or LEAVE US A COMMENT THIS WEEK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF YOUR VERY OWN!!!!!