Monday, October 29, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "One Day in December" by Josie Silver, Served Up with My Version of the Book's "DS Special" Sandwich (+ a Giveaway!)

I'm very excited to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for One Day in December, a new novel by Josie Silver. Accompanying my review for this sweet love story is a recipe for a DS special (an unusual sandwich inspired by the book) and there is also a chance to win a copy of your own at the bottom of this post. Just what you need to make a Monday better.

Publisher's Blurb:

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

Paperback: 400 Pages
Publisher: Broadway Books (October 16, 2018)

My Review:

If you love a good rom-com, especially one set at least partially around the holidays, One Day in December is your book. It's sweet, romantic, touching and perfect for snuggling into with a hot cup of tea or cocoa. I have never been a big believer in love at first sight, but it's hard not to sympathize with Laurie when the stranger she locked eyes with through a bus window and feels an immediate attraction and connection to shows up a year later as Jack, the new boyfriend of her best friend and flatmate Sarah. Although they recognize each other, in order to project Sarah, they pretend they don't and then spend ten years in each other's orbit, fighting what at the least is a very strong attraction and at most, might possibly be true love. The story is told from both Laurie and Jack's points of view and I couldn't help feeling for them both and rooting for them--even if I didn't always love their actions. There is some humor, some wipe-your-eyes moments, and it reads like something you might find as a holiday date night movie (not a bad thing in the mix of horror and heavier topics I have been reading about) and it swept me up in the "will they or won't they" drama and with the various life turns the decade has in store for them. One Day in December is an engaging and quite enjoyable contemporary romance to add to your winter TBR pile and if it sounds like a book you'd enjoy, there's a giveaway to win a copy of your own at the bottom of the page.


Author Notes: Josie Silver is an unashamed romantic who met her husband when she stepped on his foot on his twenty-first birthday. She lives with him, her two young sons, and their cats in a little town in England called Wolverhampton.

Connect with Josie on her Website, Twitter, and Instagram.


Food Inspiration:

There is a good amount of food in One Day in December that included fish-and-chips, beer, cold kebabs and cheap wine, pudding, a breakfast sandwich of biscuit, bacon, beetroot and mushroom, salad, ice cream, cereal, Benedictine (liqueur), saveloy (a highly-seasoned British sausage), coffee, eclairs and cream horns, vintage champagne, pizza, turkey, frozen berries for smoothies, a mention of pineapple on pizza, ham on custard and banana on pizza, Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra ice cream, gin, hamburgers, Pink Lady cocktails, lemonade, Penicillin (a cocktail with whiskey, ginger and honey), baked beans, chocolate mousse, coq au vin, grapes, chciken vindaloo, wheat juice and kale, cashews, bolongnese sauce, stew, rum punch, canapes, quinoa and quails egg, salmon mousse, champagne cocktails, cake, pudding, poached eggs on English muffin, roast lamb, Darjeeling and shortbread, a Victoria sponge, duck liver pate, chicken, salmon, a "chocolate-three-ways" dessert, Tuna Nicoise, cod baked with lemon and parsley, green beans, "lurid blue and green" cocktails, crisps, sangria, Bailey's and banana cake.

But really, there could be no better dish to represent this book than Sarah and Laurie's "DS special"--the sandwich they created, named after their flat on Delancey Street:

"Sarah's sandwiches are the stuff of Delancey Street myth and legend. She's taught me her holy breakfast trinity of bacon, beetroot and mushrooms, and it took us the best part of two years to settle on our signature dish, the DS special, named after our flat. 

She rolls her eyes, laughing, 'You can make it yourself, you know.' 

'Not the way you do it.' 

She preens a little opening the fridge. 'That's true.'

I watch her layer chicken and blue cheese with lettuce, mayo and cranberry, an exact science that I've yet to master. I  know it sounds hideous, but trust me, it's not." It may not be your average student food, but ever since we hit on the winning combo back in our uni days we make sure to always have the ingredients in the fridge. It's pretty much our staple diet. That, ice cream and cheap wine.

'It's the cranberry that does it,' I say after my first bite.

'It's a quantity thing,' she says. 'Too much cranberry and it's basically a jam sandwich. Too much cheese and you're licking a teenager's dirty sock.'"

The only challenge I had to making it is that I don't eat meat or chicken, but I thought the combo was interesting and it fits the book as over the ten years of ups and downs of their lives, we find Laurie and Sarah making and eating the sandwich several times. No one else seems to like appreciate the combo of ingredients like they do and the book is just as much about their friendship as it is a romance. 

After thinking long and hard about something to replace the chicken with and nothing sounding good, I decided to make a version of it using vegan chicken.Now I know I may have lost some of you already on the chicken and blue cheese layered with lettuce, mayo, and cranberry, so faux chicken may just put you over the edge... but, it truly had to be tried. A stop at Whole Foods had me grabbing a pack of Tofurky Slow Roasted Chick'n, canned cranberry jelly, a container of blue cheese crumbles and a head of romaine with a seeded multi-grain bread rounding out the ingredients. At that point, there really isn't a recipe beyond the above description so I kept the "quantity thing" of the cranberry and blue cheese in mind and just went for it.

Notes: Better than expected may not seem like high praise but this sandwich was actually good. I knew the cranberry and blue cheese would work for me as I love salads with blue cheese and berries and combined with a thin layer of mayo, crisp lettuce and hearty bread, it was delicious. The one discordant note for me was the soy chick'n. I am not a huge fan of soy 'meats' to begin with and there is just something off-putting about the smell and look of it. Still, if I am going to put it on a sandwich, it will be one like this sandwich where the robust flavors of the other ingredients work to mask what I don't like about the faux chick'n. I actually ate the entire sandwich, along with chips or crisps as they are called in the book's U.K. setting. I think if you eat chicken and like blue cheese and cranberry, you might really like this one. If you try it, let me know. I'll be experimenting with my leftovers. ;-)

I'm linking this unique sandwich up at Souper Sundays here at Kahakai Kitchen where each week we share soup, salad and sandwich recipes from the Blogosphere. Here is the link to this week's post.

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

The publisher is generously providing a copy of "One Day in December" to give away (U.S. addresses only, sorry) here at Kahakai Kitchen.

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me about your favorite sandwich or an unusual combination of ingredients you like AND/OR why you'd like to win a copy of "One Day in December."

There are a couple of other optional ways to get more entries to win: 1) Tweet about this giveaway or 2) follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii)
and/or author Josie Silver (@JosieSilver_).(Note: You can still get extra entries even if you already follow these accounts.)

Deadline for entry is midnight (EST) on Monday, November 5th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!

Note: A review copy of "One Day in December" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


  1. I love chicken salad sandwiches on a croissant! Oh and also this time of year I love making pumpkin bread with cream cheese sandwiches although I'm not sure if it is considered a sandwich. I've been really wanting to read One Day in December! A friend described it sort of like Something Borrowed which I loved.

  2. "Tell me about your favorite sandwich or an unusual combination of ingredients you like AND/OR why you'd like to win a copy of "One Day in December"" I know I must like some unusual food combinations, but all I can think of is honey drizzled on sliced bread, especially, I think, from a loaf of cheap white bread. You ignore it for 10 or 20 minutes and it becomes crunchy!

  3. One of my favorite sandwiches is a grilled chicken sandwich on a water roll with cheddar cheese and slices of a granny smith apple and spinach

  4. A good rom-com is perfect for this time of year. And I think the sandwich sounds fantastic -- and I *do* eat chicken, so, yeah, yum.

  5. An unusual sandwich indeed. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  6. Better than expected sounds like high praise indeed!

  7. My favorite sandwich with unusual ingredients is peanut butter and pickle! Sounds weird, but you should try it 😁 I am excited to read this book - thanks for the opportunity for a giveaway!!


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