October 1, 2012

excerpt of 'sugarfiend'

Blogger's Note: I'm reviewing Caroline Burau's Sugarfiend today (9 a.m. CDT), but before I do, check out this excerpt of the book.

About the Book
If her life is a box of chocolates, acid-tongued, sugar-obsessed Estelle Brown should learn how to pick them better. Her boyfriend’s left her for a bulimic hand model, her roomate’s skipped town, and her boss is in love with her.

Fed up and In the middle of her latest of a lifetime of doomed diet attempts – cutting sugar cold turkey – Estelle decides to quit quitting for good, pack her bags, and lose herself on a 7-day Caribbean cruise. But even on a floating monument to binge eating, the diet industry follows her. Across from every buffet is a studio full of treadmills. Next to every plate of fried calamari is a large diet Coke. As a ship full of wary passengers ducks for cover, Hurricane Estelle wages her own personal war against moderation. But the consequences land her in the belly of the beast: broke, alone, and forced to take a job as –of all things-- a detox consultant for the ship.

Is Skinny the answer to Happy? Is Sweet n Low the new black? Is that Denise Austin chick … for real? No, no and yes, oddly. But for a Sugarfiend, it’s not the destination that matters, it’s all the cupcakes you get to eat along the way.

I headed to Mama Mia’s, the ship’s Italian buffet. I wish I could put the pasta bar in my pocket and never have to be without it again. The spicy meat loaf is also a little slice of dehydrated soup mix heaven. Whatever would I do when it came time to go back out into the world of foods with limits? I was sitting by my cute little lonesome when the next best thing to All You Can Eat came walking up in semi-snug button-flies and a t-shirt that said, “Chicks Dig Me.”

“You got a hankering for some pizza?” Bill Baker said in his typical twang. He was loaded for buffet bear, but he didn’t sit down. This represented his third attempt to fraternize with me, and he’d learned to expect disappointment, I suppose.

“Did you really just say ‘hankering?’”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Well, sit on down, ya big hayseed.”

“Really?” He checked the chair next to me for alligators, fart cushions, and live grenades. “I’d be delighted.”

“But what?”


“You’d be delighted, but what?”

“Damn it, woman, I am delighted. I’m fucking elated. I’ve been talking to you for sixty seconds now and I still have both heads and both balls attached.”

“Am I that big a shrew?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Bill sat down, then took a long sip on his iced tea.

“Well here we are having dinner anyway,” he proceeded on down the icy highway like a truck driver hauling a load of eggs. “And you said it couldn’t be done.”

“Nice t-shirt,” I said, and imagined myself taking it off of him.

Check back at 9 a.m. for my review, and tomorrow for a guest post from the author.

About the Author
Caroline Burau is a blogger, two-time author, and a 911 dispatcher. Her first book, Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat was a Reader's Digest Editor's Choice and a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.

When she's not writing or obsessing about writing, she's spending her royalties on yoga classes, strappy sport tops, and used books. She lives with her husband, two geriatric cats, and an excitable yellow lab in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

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