12 days until the release of THE SECRET OF EVERYTHING (Tuesday, December 29), and to celebrate, here is another little giveaway.
The Secret of Everything is centered in a little town that has, quite by accident, become a center of food culture. One of the characters in the book is 8-year-old Natalie, who is very particular about food, but not in a traditionally child-like way. Natalie reveresfood–the flavors and smells, the combinations and the colors–and she hates it that hardly anyone takes her passion seriously. She is working her way, one menu item at a time, through the menu at The 100 Breakfasts Cafe (including the eggs Benedict and huevos rancheros, thankyouverymuch), and she has a passion for salt, and that passion weaves a thread throughout the story. Below is an excerpt to introduce you to one of my favorite characters ever, but first, the giveaway.
In the comments, post a story about a favorite food from your own childhood. Next Wednesday, I’ll choose a name and send you a Salt Sampler Collection that includes some of Natalie’s favorites, including Himalayan Pink Salt (pictured left), Fleur de Sel de Guérande, red Alaea Hawaiian, and two others. It was inspirational and delightful to explore the textures and flavors of these salts for the book, and I know some of you will enjoy it, too. (And I know we will enjoy your food stories, too!)
EXCERPT, from THE SECRET OF EVERYTHING, by Barbara O’Neal :
Before Natalie’s dad had to work on Saturday, rescuing somebody who wasn’t supposed to be climbing on the rocks anyway, they were all suppose to go on a picnic. Instead, they got stuck at Grandma’s, eating fish sticks and ketchup, and now they were going on a picnic today and it was hot, hot, hot.
Natalie sat in the shade beneath the tree in the plaza, holding her sister Hannah’s hand, waiting for her dad to come out of the drugstore with sunscreen. They had to walk to the lake, naturally, because nobody could ever just drive anywhere around here. Already her skin was prickly down her back. Her grandma said she should wear a hat, but Natalie just did not see how that would make a person cooler.
She would rather stay right here in the shade all day and read a book. Climb up into the tree, maybe, and then come down later and go into Le Fleur de Mer and look at salts from the Dead Sea, which she imagined was probably a desert, all glittery in the sunshine like diamonds even though it was big crystals of gray salt. The lady in there didn’t like Natalie to come in by herself, she said it was nothing that would interest a child, but she didn’t know Natalie. Or that she had her own salt cellar and was just waiting to find the right salt to put in it.