Friday, July 2, 2021

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "A Winter Night" by Anne Leigh Parrish, Served with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich & 10 Favorite Grilled Cheese Recipes

Happy Aloha Friday and kickoff to the Independence Day weekend if you are in America. I am excited to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for A Winter Night by Anne Leigh Parrish. Accompanying my dish is a book-inspired delicious grilled cheese sandwich and chips from a favorite local cafe, plus links to a few recipes for my favorite grilled cheese sandwiches.

Publisher's Blurb:

34-year-old Angie Dugan struggles with many things-anxiety, her career as a social worker in a retirement home, and her difficult family. Her biggest struggle, though, is finding love. When she meets Matt, she’s swept away by his attention. As issues from his past come up she wonders if she can trust him. Should she break it off, or give him another chance? In the end, all she can do is listen to her heart, and evaluate what she wants most.

Paperback: 248 Pages
Publisher: Unsolicited Press (March 16, 2021)

My Review: 

I was first introduced to the main character, Angie Dugan and her family back in 2014 when I was on the book tour for Our Love Could Right the World and then in 2019 for Maggie's Ruse which focused on the twins, Maggie and Marta. The Dugans are not a particularly endearing sort of family, their dysfunction is loud and proud, but they are intriguing, and something about the eldest and slightly prickly Angie does make me wish well for her. Angie works as a social worker in a retirement home, a job she doesn't love anymore (or did she ever?) and is in a relatively new relationship with Matt, a bartender and friend of her younger brother. Angie is not really good with any kind of relationship, understandable based on her family dynamics and some big betrayals by the few love interests she has had. Matt's actions are sending out red flags to Angie and much of the book is her "testing" him in different ways or wondering if he is about to betray her. She is also looking to change up her career and life, but isn't truly sure what she wants. 

A Winter Night is a short book at 248 pages, and it does not move fast but wondering what was next for Angie and how things would play out for her kept me turning the pages. Anne Leigh Parrish has a gift for writing that makes even mundane moments come alive and she takes characters that have major flaws and shows us their inner depth and glimpses of the tenderness and heart within them. Lavina, Angie's mother, is my least favorite Dugan for the lack of mothering skills she presented in other books but I actually found myself warming to her in this book. I don't think that you have to read Parrish's other books about the Dugans to read this one (in fact I am missing The Amendment, centered around Lavina) but if you like family and relationship drama, her books have a nice flow of the lives of this family and might make you appreciate your own even more.


Author Notes: Anne Leigh Parrish is the author of seven previously published books of fiction: What Nell Dreams, a novella and Stories (Unsolicited Press, 2020); Maggie’s Ruse, a novel (Unsolicited Press, 2019); The Amendment, a novel, (Unsolicited Press, 2018); Women Within, a novel (Black Rose Writing, 2017); By The Wayside, stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017); What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel (She Writes Press, 2014); Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2013); and All The Roads That Lead From Home, stories, (Press 53, 2011). She is the author of over forty-five published short stories, and numerous essays on the art and craft of writing. 

Connect with Anne on her website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Food Inspiration:

For a short novel there was actually quite a bit of food and drink in A Winter Night. Mentions included: fruit punch, beer, whiskey, coffee, bland orange soup--carrot with garlic, white wine, lasagna, chili, red wine, scotch, decaf non-fat latte, hot chocolate, martini, Chianti, spaghetti, cannelloni, frying bacon, chocolate, doughnuts, pastries, ice cream, pancakes, waffles, soda, corn flakes, a burger, pork chops, chai matcha tea, veal marsala, eggs, bread, salad, a salami and cheese sandwich on rye with a juicy pickle, homemade bread, bourbon, lopsided pineapple upside down cake, roast beef on rye, chicken noodle soup, French bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it in, Christmas ham, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, cake, roasted garlic, champagne, and jam on toast. 

I took my inspiration from the mention of a grilled cheese sandwich, below:

"Angie, on the other hand is a pretty good cook, something Matt has remarked on several times, though all she's ever made him is a grilled cheese sandwich. It was the addition of goat cheese with a touch of honey that did it, she thinks. She suspects his tastes are pretty pedestrian in most things."
Now, I make some great grilled cheese sandwiches too, but I am having a busy work week and I wasn't in the mood, even for easy cooking. So I grabbed a quick take out from a nearby local cage of their grilled cheese (cheddar, havarti and whipped cream cheese on Japanese Shokupan bread) on my way home. I got a side of their fresh-fried seasoned kettle chips too, and I'm not sorry!

So here are links to 10 favorite grilled cheese recipes previously posted.

Note: some of these are unusual, some more savory, some are sweet, all are, at the very least, grilled bread with cheese on them so in my book, they are grilled cheese sandwiches.

I do have a few more classic grilled cheese sammies on the blog but I figured it would be fun to highlight the more creative ones! ;-)

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event  being hosted by Marg at The Adventures of An Intrepid Reader. It's a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. Here's a link to last week's post. 

And of course a delicious salad based on a sandwich has to get linked up here at Kahakai Kitchen for this week's Souper Sundays post, my weekly feature where anyone can share their soup, salad or sandwich recipes. Here's the link to this weeks post

Note: A review copy of A Winter Night 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. The amazing number of different grilled cheese sandwiches you have on your list just astounds me! I think I need to up my grilled-cheese game. All I ever do is whatever sliced cheese on whatever sliced bread. If there's a tomato, add a slice of tomato. End of story. You shame me!

    best... mae at

    1. There's nothing wrong with a classic like that Mae, and that's what I do make and enjoy most often, but it's fun to try some different ones now and then! . ;-)

  2. I don't think you can ever go wrong with a grilled cheese sandwich. It was absolutely one of my favorites growing up. I'm intrigued with the variety of sandwiches you have come up with. The basil and goat cheese looks especially good.

  3. Great list of cheesy goodness! I’ve never read that author but your description sounds interesting.

  4. My husband will take a grilled cheese any day! We will have to try a few of these, thanks for the list.

  5. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  6. Between you and Jackie, I now NEED a grilled cheese sandwich. LOL


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