Book Review of Let Them Eat Cake and Interview with author Sandra Byrd

September 30, 2007 Uncategorized 5

Book Description

Lexi Stuart is at a critical crossroads. She’s done with college but still living at home, ready to launch a career but unable to find a job, and solidly stalled between boyfriends.
When a lighthearted conversation in French with the manager of her favorite bakery turns into a job offer, Lexi accepts. But the actual glamour is minimal, the pay is less than generous, her co-workers are skeptical, her bank account remains vertically challenged, and her parents are perpetually disappointed. Her only comfort comes from the flirtatious baker, but even he may not be who he seems.

So when a handsome young executive dashes into the bakery to pick up his high-profile company’s special order for an important meeting, an order Lexi has flubbed, she loses her compulsion to please. “What am I going to do?” he shouts. “Let them eat cake!” she fires back with a equal passion and a nod to Marie Antoinette. And then, something inside Lexi clicks. Laissez la revolution commencer! Let the Revolution begin! Instead of trying to fulfill everyone else’s expectation for her life, Lexi embarks on an adventure in trusting God with her future, Tres bon!

Review

Sandra Byrd delivers a delightful book about a young lady who wants what any normal young woman would want, a career, love and out of her parents house. For Lexi it was not that easy, she loses her job, then struggles with the men in her life, and feels scrutinized by her parents at every turn. Her brother has it all together with a career and fiancé that makes Lexi a bit envious at times, especially when she knows that her parents are disappointed in her.

Lexi tries really hard to do what she wants to do and do it all on her own. When she finally has had enough of fulfilling everyone else’s expectation and revolts she still has to learn to give up what she thinks she wants for what God wants for her. I think the whole goal of this book is that sometimes when you want something if give it to God then more than likely what he wants will be what you want, the timing just might be a little different.

Sandra has developed a main character that was down to earth that many young ladies can relate too and I extremely enjoyed reading Let Them Eat Cake.

Below is a interview with Sandra Byrd, author of Let Them Eat Cake. I also have a copy I am giving away to one lucky winner if you leave a comment on my blog and a way to contact you so that I can let you know if you won. Contest will end on the 5th of October. You may also email me at ladystorm282001@yahoo.com.

Tell me about yourself.

I’m the mom of two teenagers, the wife of a chaplain, the servant of a small dog. J I live in Seattle (it’s raining today, already!). Like the rest of you I love to read, and that’s why I became a writer.

Now tell me about your latest book Let Them Eat Cake. What about the characters in this book did you like best?

I like their honesty. I especially like the honesty between the mom and the daughter. I think mother-daughter relationships can be especially fraught with issues because there is always love but the love plays itself out in ways that both help and hurt. I feel that, both as a daughter, and as a mother. I like that everyone recognizes that life is hard in patches but that joy usually likes around another corner, especially if you seed your life with hope. I like their senses of humor. I love the interplay of cultures.

There were a lot of French words and phrase in this book. Have you studied French or did you just do a bit of research on French phrases?

I did study French! I am a definite Francophile. I studied French through my first year of college, but then had to give it up. I have been to France twice though, and am hoping to go back with my family in the next year or two. I had several wonderful Frenchwomen serve as resources for me, too.

I see that you mainly write young adult books, so what made you decide to write a fiction book geared towards adults?

I’ve switched over, pretty much for good, to writing for adults. I just felt like I have said everything I’d set out to say, or that the Lord had given me to say, to teenagers. I also believe that one of my spiritual gift mixes is mentoring. When I was in my twenties, it showed up as mentoring teens. Now that I am in my forties, it shows up more as having a dedicated heart toward those in their twenties and early thirties.
I like the freedom I have to explore more widely with adults, and I like being able to write longer books.

Tell me about your publication journey.

My mother always said that it took so long to give birth to me because I was hollering out, “just one more chapter!” I’ve been a reader all of my life, reading my first set of Bobbsey Twins books at about 6, and I think I decided shortly thereafter that I wanted to be a writer, too. I also wanted to be a waitress and a hairstylist.

I went to college on a writing scholarship, but I got scared. No one got published, and I wasn’t going to be any different! So I switched to a degree in real estate. God brought me around, though, and soon I was an editor for a publishing house that published real estate books, then I was writing more, and finally, I took the leap to free lance writing. That was about 13-14 years ago and I haven’t looked back.

What would you say was your biggest obstacle in regards to getting published? How did you overcome it?

The writer’s biggest obstacle is always fear. Fear of rejection (which happens, regularly, to all writers – published or not). Fear of bad reviews. Fear of making a mistake. Especially, fear of failing at the one career you feel “called” to or care about. I still struggle with fear, but I push through it. Once I do that, I enjoy the story, and that keeps me going.

My first series was rejected 12 times, I think. One publishing house sent the rejection letter twice – a month or two apart – just to make sure I got the message. I got it. But eventually it found a home, with WaterBrook, and for that I am very thankful. Self discipline can be difficult for writers, too.

How do you balance your writing with your every day responsibilities?

I try to keep to a fairly strict schedule. I set aside an amount of work for that day – whether it be a certain word count, or hours researching, or whatever. And then my day is not “done” till that portion of work is complete. If I want to play later, or go out, or clean my house (!!) I have to get the work done. I’ve learned that the sooner I sit down and get it done the sooner I have some mental relief.

Who or what is your greatest inspiration to write?

I have had many favorite authors, and continue to find them, and when I do, their good craftsmanship makes me want to reach to do even better work myself. I feel called as a writer, so I believe that God not only inspires me when I need it He refreshes and enables, and disciplines me, with writing, too.

Do you have any words of encouragement for those other new authors or aspiring writers out there?

To persist, and to look beyond the “big” markets for your joy. Some of the most rewarding writing I’ve done has been low key. I wrote a few lines for a kid for a Christmas play at church once, a kid who didn’t have a part and would have been left out otherwise. When she got up and spoke them, and it was just me and the director who knew, it was so rewarding. Because otherwise that child would have been left behind. I wrote a tribute to a teacher once. It paid $60. But the ability to send that to a teacher and tell her it was published in a magazine her colleagues read was, as MasterCard says, priceless.

What has been the highest moment of your writing/publishing career?

Holding my first book in my hand. Not that it’s gone down hill from there. It’s just that tasting the first fruit of the dream was so delicious.

Are you working on anything new right now?

There are two more books the follow up Let Them Eat Cake. I just finished writing that second one, called Bon Apetit, and I think it’s even better than Cake. I’ll write the third book in that series this year, and then move on to the next exciting project!

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5 Responses to “Book Review of Let Them Eat Cake and Interview with author Sandra Byrd”

  1. cathikin

    Sounds like an interesting book. I myself was a French teacher, so it would be nice to read a little bit of Franch. Nice interview, too.

  2. Mrs. C

    Sandra,
    Let Them Eat Cake sounds delicious. I love the brother with the perfect life, fiance etc… angle. We’ve all got someone in our lives who has everything fall into place so easily.

    Please enter me!

    Thanks,
    Mary Ellen

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