TLC Book Tour, Wild Women and Pineapple Buns

Welcome to the TLC Book Tour and a review of Kristen Rockaway’s The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World. 

About The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: Center Street (June 6, 2017)

Fans of Sophie Kinsella and The Devil Wears Prada will love this smart, sexy debut novel of wanderlust.

Objectively, Sophie is a success: she’s got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn’t quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it’s secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls’ trip, and Sophie falls for Carson, a free spirited, globetrotting American artist. He begs her to join him on his haphazard journey, but she chooses responsibility and her five-year plan.

Back in New York, that plan feels less and less appealing. As Sophie recalls the dreams she’s suppressed, the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips no longer feel like enough. Carson isn’t ready to let her go either, but as they try to figure out their relationship, Sophie realizes she may have to pursue her passions with or without him.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review

Remember when you were twenty-five and the world was full of possibilities?

Remember when you could create spontaneous fun out of any situation?

Remember when passion and dreams drove you?

Remember when you were a bit of a spaz?

Meet Sophie, a twenty-something on the corporate ladder to fame, fortune and a partnership. She forces her best friend to accompany her on a whim of a girls’ trip to Hong Kong. The “wild woman” adventure  with her best friend goes awry but Sophie finds solace and romance with Carson, another twenty-something aimlessly searching for fun and adventure.

Although I love the title and the premise of Rockaway’s book, I found myself wanting to shake the heroine and yell, “Snap outta it!” (I also wanted to throat punch her grandmother!)

Will she or won’t she follow her heart and her real career dream?  This is the question that Sophie considers over and over again and over again in the novel.

The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World is definitely a beach read but it was fun (even if it was a bit predictable).  This is Rockaway’s debut novel so I am intrigued to what else she has in store for readers.  I received a free copy of the eBook from the author in conjunction with TLC Book Tours for an honest review.

There was a lot of food and beverage in the novel, especially beer and Jägermeister.  (Remember, it is about a couple of twenty-somethings.) Most of the food references come from Sophie’s initial journey to Hong Kong and Macau.  Here’s my list:

  • San Miguel Pilsner
  • “wiry brown noodles” (55)
  • “Spicy fried pork piled atop a thin layer of shredded white cabbage, dotted with nickel slices of fiery red peppers.   Razor clams heaped with green vegetables, sopping in a thick brown sauce.” (64)
  • Jägerbomb
  • more Jägermeister
  • a pork chop with peppery juices
  • Bitburger beer
  • pineapple buns
  • dim sum:  “eclectic mix of sweet pastries, dough steamed buns, crispy fried dumplings and the occasional unidentifiable animal part” (519)
  • bakery items of “crusty yellow buns and glazed brown tarts” (623)
  • an impromptu brunch of pork chop, buns and egg tarts
  • traditional Macanese specialties:  “shellfish and rice tinged with tomato sauce; roasted chicken in a rich, spiced stew; and minchi, the national dish, consisting of minced beef stir-fried with potatoes and topped with a runny, golden egg” (1313)
  • Famous Original Ray’s Pizza in NYC:  pepperoni pizza, sausage calzone, and “a steaming rice ball parmigiana”(2495)
  • “couple of porters” (2504)
  • “Smithwick’s at The Perfect Pint, Hurricanes at Jimmy’s Corner, and Moscow Mules at Cock & Bull, where Carson finally got that burger he’d been craving” (2513)
  • Cantonese food delivered to Sophie’s office with “spring onion and ginger” (2654)
  • brötchen

(Please note the numbers are Kindle locations.)

Yes, I certainly could have presented a Jägerbased cocktail or an array of beers.   I almost decided to make a savory entree from the room-service meal that was delivered to Sophie and Carson’s swanky Macau suite.  I even researched just what kind of “roasted chicken in a rich, spiced stew” might be served in Macau.

But, I  also was intrigued by the many references to “Pineapple Buns” and after researching that recipe I decided to whip some up.  I used a recipe from The Woks of Life.

These are so tender and sweet and delicious.   I am so glad that Rockaway introduced me to these pastries.

By the way, there’s no pineapple in this recipe.  They are said to resemble the skin of a pineapple.  (I am not reprinting the recipe because it can be found here and is definitely worth checking out!)

 

About Kristin Rockaway

Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she finally traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software. Her debut novel, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World, was released from Hachette Book Group in June 2017. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, browsing the aisles of her neighborhood bookstores, and planning her next big vacation.

Praise for Wild Woman’s Guide 

“With its spirited yet credible plot and vividly intricate charactersthis debut novel shines.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“…a fun, sexy debut perfect for readers who love exotic settings and a great love story. For those wishing to indulge their wanderlust, or who have dreams too big for tidy little boxes, this is an incredibly satisfying read.” — Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away With Me

“…brilliantly navigates one woman’s quest to let go of what is practical to pursue her passion and surrender to her inner dreamer.” — Kerry Lonsdale, bestselling author of Everything We Keep

“Can a novel be smart and loads of fun? Kristin Rockaway’s debut is proof that it’s possible. Warm, witty, and completely delightful, this book had my inner escapist itching to hop on the next flight out of town.” — Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

“Kristin Rockaway is a wise and fresh new voice in women’s fiction and this book was a delight from start to finish.” — Anita Hughes, author of Christmas in Paris

Find out more about Kristin at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

 

Please check out the other tour stops for Wild Woman:

Tour Stops

Friday, January 19th: Staircase Wit

Monday, January 22nd: #redhead.with.book

Friday, January 26th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Friday, January 26th: Wining Wife

Tuesday, February 6th: Rockin’ and Reviewing

Friday, February 9th: Bibliotica

Monday, February 12th: Literary Quicksand

Tuesday, February 13th: Palmer’s Page Turners

Wednesday, February 14th: Ms. Nose in a Book

Thursday, February 15th: Eliot’s Eats

Friday, February 23rd: Instagram: @writersdream

Monday, February 26th: Thoughts From a Highly Caffeinated Mind

Tuesday, March 6th: Just One More Chapter

 

 

I’m linking up with Foodies Reads for February.

 

 

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