Today I am so happy to be able to announce that I've written my first book, "Dainty Dining: Vintage recipes, memories and memorabilia from America's department store tea rooms." Right now I'm busily proofing the final pages before they head to the printer, and I should have books in hand by mid-November. I can't wait! The book is 6 x 9 inches, and if you double-click on the image it should be nearly the right size.
Some of you won't be surprised at my subject since I've been researching department store tea rooms all year and occasionally published a blog post about one of them here, a preview of some of the things that will be in the book. It includes recipes, tales and memorabilia from 20 department store tea rooms/restaurants across the country, including Bullock's Wilshire in Los Angeles, Burdines in Miami, Denver Dry Goods in Denver, Filene's in Boston, Frederick & Nelson in Seattle, Gimbels in New York, Hess's in Allentown, Penn., Higbee Company in Cleveland, J.L. Hudson in Detroit, Innes Dry Goods in Wichita, F & R Lazarus in Columbus, Ohio, Macy's in New York, Maison Blanche in New Orleans, Marshall Field in Chicago, Miller & Rhoads in Richmond, Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Rich's in Atlanta, Wanamaker's in Philadelphia, Woodward & Lothrop in Washington, D.C. and Younker Brothers in Des Moines. The 1947 postcard above shows the "modern" Rich's Department Store in Atlanta, a beloved retail institution in my fair state.
And this postcard is from the tea room at Woodward & Lothrop in Washington, D.C. Earlier this year I learned that tea friend Belinda M.'s mother once worked at a branch of this store in the D.C. area.
And here is the chocolate fudge cake that was once served in that tea room, and it is simply divine!
So these are the sort of things that fill my book, and I can't wait until it gets here! Locally, I'll be doing book signings at Scott's Bookstore here in Newnan and at my friend's store, Cydney's Alley, in Senoia. You can order via the PayPal button at top right. You don't have to have a PayPal account yourself, but it allows you to securely enter your debit card or credit card information, which I never see. (I've been sending and receiving funds via PayPal myself for more than a decade, and it's my favorite way to pay for online purchases.)
But enough of the sales info! To kick things off, I'm giving away five free autographed copies of the book, and all you have to do to be entered is leave an "Enter me" comment to this post between now and next Monday, Oct. 10, at 7 a.m. EST. Good luck!
UPDATE: Giveaway has ended, but copies of the book are still available to order!