Friday, August 14, 2020

Five Things About ALWAYS, ALMOND FUDGE by Charlotte O'Shay

As someone who is fascinated by the events of World War II and its aftermath, I'm always interested in a book set during that era. Charlotte O'Shay combines the uncertainty of going off to war with the sweet promise of ice cream, and she tells us five things we should know about this book. ALWAYS, ALMOND FUDGE is part of The Wild Rose Press's summer series One Scoop or Two about everything ice cream. Welcome Charlotte!


FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ALWAYS, ALMOND FUDGE

1. Always, Almond Fudge begins on the eve of America’s entry into WWII. Our country had barely recovered from the ravages of the Great Depression when Pearl Harbor was bombed and the United States entered WWII. Is it any wonder this generation was called the greatest? Merry and Anthony knew the value of enjoying life’s simple pleasures—like ice cream.

2. The vacation ritual of getting ice cream every evening after dinner like Sebastian’s family does was one we enjoyed with our children. We all saved pennies through the year, counted them up and spent them in ice cream and sweet shops we visited on our Cape Cod vacations.

3. Always, Almond Fudge is a love letter to my parents, who were a quintessential love at first sight, age-gap couple if there ever was one. Anthony is very much like my father—happy go lucky, athletic, and confident. Somehow we never realized we were poor (we were seven kids) in part because Dad always worked as hard at home as he did driving a truck. He was a true partner to my mom, as he cooked, cleaned, changed diapers and fixed whatever needed fixing in our old house. 

4. The title Always, Almond Fudge is a statement, an inside joke, a salutation and a promise of forever.

5. The fictional town of Langford, Rhode Island was inspired by the Rhode Island town where my daughter and her family live. The kind of town where generation after generation thrives and no one ever wants to leave. Like Langford, there is a small town beach beyond Main Street and a gazebo with a bench overlooking a quaint marina.


Blurb:

On a lengthy car ride to their annual seaside vacation, a mother recounts the true story of a sweet family tradition.

It's the summer of 1941 in the seaside town of Langford, Rhode Island, and seventeen-year-old Meredith Franklin works as a server at Seymore's Ice Cream Shoppe.

When aspiring baseball player Anthony Fanelli strolls into the ice cream shop, his teasing banter leads to romantic sparks and dreams of forever love.

Their whirlwind courtship comes to an abrupt halt on December 7, 1941, when America enters World War Two, forcing the couple to put their future on hold.

Decades later, a treasure trove of wartime letters details the romance of Merry and Anthony and the sacrifices of a generation.


Excerpt:

 Merry swallowed. Her powers of speech deserted her as she soaked in his animated features. What was happening to her? A planner by nature, Merry wasn’t ready for the way her imagination was flying off, far into the future. A future where she’d see the strong planes of Anthony’s tanned face every day for the rest of her life. Frightened by the strength of her vision, she occupied her trembling fingers, rearranging the cups and napkins behind the counter. It was getting near to nine p.m. She had work to do to close the shop.

“So, I’ve come for my ice cream. Your favorite.”

“You’re very confident,” she said. Her heartbeat fluttered then galloped forward with a curious combination of nerves and exhilaration.

He pressed his big hands to his thighs and shrugged. “Confident is the only way to go through life.”

Merry felt herself sinking deep into his densely lashed eyes. “I couldn’t agree more. Okay, Mr. Anthony Fanelli, which flavor do you choose?”


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Author Bio:

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family.

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. 

But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.

Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.


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