Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Great Brownie Taste-off / Lisa Maliga

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Chick-Lit

Approximate word count: 35-40,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: YES  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


“Lisa Maliga has been writing ever since she learned how to put crayon to paper back in kindergarten. Since then, she has learned to type and uses a laptop, citing it as way more convenient. She still makes and uses her own soapy creations, and she sometimes bakes brownies, cupcakes, and cookies.”

Learn more about Ms. Maliga on her website.


“Yolanda Carter comes from a family of artisans and lives in her deceased grandparent's cottage in Sherman Oaks, California. She works at a small cat shelter but dreams of owning a bakery. Her friend from high school, Teagan Mishkin, knows that Yolanda needs money and suggests better paying work as a cocktail waitress. The interview takes an unexpected turn and she stumbles across a scheme to close down the cat shelter.

The plan Yolanda concocts may be the only way to save the shelter. Helped by her parents, coworkers and friends, a rising young blogger also takes an interest in her plight. Will she bake the best brownies of her life?”


I had a problem getting drawn into this story. Ms. Maliga spent way too much time describing scenes, apparel, and what street or route Yolanda took to work, her friend’s house, or back home again. None of this moved the story forward and seemed to be added for word count value alone. Yolanda’s boyfriend Zac was an egotistical slump who cared more about himself than anyone else. He holds himself in high regard being the golf pro at Green Palms Mini Golf Course. Yep, you got it. He is the pro at a putt-putt golf course. I found his arrogance off-putting and Yolanda’s tolerance of his attitude did not sit well with me. This is not the kind of role-model I like to promote in books.

Yolanda could have been an interesting person if she had shown some emotion or a little backbone. She has a knack for baking and dreams of opening a bakery of her own. It will be called Yolanda’s Yummery because everything she bakes is yummy. The Brownie Taste Off gains her some notoriety and temporarily helps the cat shelter. There is more going on than meets the eye with Whisker, Yolanda’s newest  cat that she adopted from the shelter. This storyline could develop into something bringing in an element of fantasy to the tale.

Yolanda’s brownie recipe is included at the end of the story, however there is one secret ingredient that is withheld. It seems to be a “magical” something that was left by her grandmother in the back of the spice cabinet.

Format/Typo Issues:

I found no significant proofing errors.

Rating: *** Three stars

No comments: