July 2013 Indie Next List
“A swashbuckling story is always fun, especially when it includes a gourmet chef on board. Mad Hannah Mabbot, tall, red-headed pirate kidnaps a Lord's chef, Owen Wedgewood, and tells him he must cook for her once a week. Highly entertaining in spite of the cruel methods of the day and the suffering caused by the Opium smuggling between China and England, which Hannah is determined to stop. A supporting cast of characters that will 'shiver your timbers' and Owen's weekly meals for Hannah are an absolute riot - Owen has little in the way of ingredients and his kitchen, or galley, is miniscule and lacking in everything needed to cook gourmet meals. Read this and learn who Mr. Apples, Joshua, and The Brass Fox are and how they play a role in this wonderfully thrilling story of pirates on the high seas and in the kitchen! Exciting and a true delight.”
— Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM
The year is 1819, and the renowned chef Owen Wedgwood has been kidnapped by a beautiful yet ruthless pirate. He will be spared, Mad Hannah Mabbot tells him, as long as he can conjure an exquisite meal every Sunday from the ship's meager supplies. While Wedgwood attempts to satisfy his captor with feats such as tea-smoked eel and pineapple-banana cider, he realizes that Mabbot herself is under siege. Hunted by a deadly privateer and plagued by a saboteur, she pushes her crew past exhaustion in her search for the notorious Brass Fox. But there is a method to Mabbot's madness, and as the "Flying Rose" races across the ocean, Wedgwood learns to rely on the bizarre crew members he once feared: a formidable giant who loves to knit; a pair of stoic martial arts masters, sworn to defend their captain; and the ship's deaf cabin boy, who becomes the son he never had.
An anarchic tale of love and appetite, Eli Brown's "Cinnamon and Gunpowder" is a wildly original feat of the imagination, deep and startling as the sea itself.
About the Author
Eli Brown lives on an experimental urban farm in Alameda, California. His writing has appeared in "The Cortland Review" and "Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader." His first novel, "The Great Days," won the Fabri Literary Prize.
“You’ll savor every bite.”—Petra Mayer, NPR
“A great beach read that doesn’t sacrifice beautiful writing...Oh, Hannah! What a character she is—sexy, hilarious, tough, and with such heart.”—Julie Powell, author of Julie and Julia
“Original and exquisite...Salty, smart, and sensuous. Eli Brown unfurls a pirate story that’s also an eloquent disquisition on human appetite and the mysteries of taste.”—Carolyn Cooke, author of Daughters of the Revolution
“A swashbuckler of a cookbook, and a romance, too.”—BonAppétit.com
Praise for The Great Days:
“Accomplished and enormously powerful.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“With lyrical, confident prose, Brown makes August’s dark journey a harrowing, convincing look into the heart of cult life that should linger with readers.”—Publishers Weekly