I’m happy to welcome award-winning author Patricia V Davis. Today, Patricia shares excellent advice for women of all ages and the three novels in The Secret Spice Café Trilogy.
Here’s my contribution to Joanne’s Power of Ten Series. I wrote this blog post over ten years ago, for one particular younger woman friend, and I had originally titled it, “From an Older Woman to a Younger One.” For some reason, it hit a nerve with many women, went viral, was translated into several languages, and eventually landed me a book deal for my non-fiction book, The Diva Doctrine: 16 Universal Principles Every Woman needs to Know. I hope it resonates with you too. Though its particular audience was for one hetero woman, I hope everyone can pull something from it, no matter who you are. Without further ado, here are some of the things I learned after half a century of living that I passed on to a younger woman friend in the hope that it would save her some precious time:
1. You are at least ten times prettier than you think you are.
That holds true no matter how pretty you already think you are! Don’t believe me? Ask your mother/auntie/grannie if she thought she was pretty when she was twenty. She’ll say no. Then find a photo of her at that age. See what I mean?
2. The only thing you should be faking is confidence.
If you don’t have it yet, pretend you do. In every new situation, pretend you’re not nervous; pretend you’re not scared. After a few times doing this, the pretend part disappears.
3. Want to try something new like painting, skiing or running your own business? Go to the library and borrow ten different books on the subject. Skim through them all, find the ones that have the most vital information and study them. Then see number two.
4. No matter how old you get, remember what it was like to be a nine-year-old girl.
Remember the feeling of freedom. If you’ve already forgotten, do a cartwheel. You can so still do one. Savor that feeling. Wake up with it every day. You’ll stay young until the day you die.
5. In the same vein, cut or potted flowers are never a waste of money, because every time we glance at them, they remind us how much beauty there can be in the world.
6. Speaking of money, starting right this moment, whether you’re twenty or sixty, you can change your finances around.
Don’t leave someone else completely in charge, whether it’s your husband, partner, parents or banker. Become financially savvy. Financial independence gives you the freedom to walk away from many bad situations. How do you know you’re in bad situation? See number seven.
7. If your stomach hurts and you haven’t got a virus, you’re in a bad situation.
Before you know what it is, your stomach always does. Give yourself some time to ponder what it might be that’s making your stomach hurt. Chances are you already do know, you just don’t want to face it, for some reason. You can ignore advice from your friends, even your own brain, but you can’t ignore your stomach, because the stomach never lies. Oh, and by the way — drowning your stomach in alcohol won’t make it stop telling you the truth, either.
8. When meeting someone new and he or she seems to be behaving badly, show compassion first.
If after you display your sincere compassion, they are still acting badly, walk away. If they follow you, call the police.
9. Wear sunscreen on your face, neck and hands every day, winter and summer.
I don’t care how dark your skin naturally is. Wear it. You’ll remember me when you look in the mirror at age fifty. Always keep in mind that your body is directly connected to your spirit. Look after your body. Exercise, floss and brush your teeth. Put nothing in your body that can permanently harm your spirit, including the wrong man.
10. And if you are in bed with a man and he’s the right man, meaning your stomach doesn’t hurt, he’s smiling at you, he knows your name, he’s not drunk, and neither are you — for godssakes — enjoy yourself. He is not at all thinking about how fat your thighs look.
Book One: Cooking For Ghosts
Do hearts broken long ago forever leave a tangible trace?
A Vegas cocktail waitress. An Indian herbalist. A British chemistry professor. An Italian-American widow. Four unique women with one thing in common: each is haunted by a tragedy from her past.
Cynthia, Rohini, Jane, and Angela meet on a food blogging site and bond over recipes. They decide on impulse to open The Secret Spice, an elegant café on the magnificent ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, currently a floating hotel in Long Beach, California. Rich in history and tales of supernatural occurrences, the ship hides her own dark secrets.
The women are surrounded by ghosts long before they step aboard, but once they do, nothing is quite what it seems. Not the people they meet, not their brooding chef’s mystic recipes, and not the Queen Mary herself. Yet the spirits they encounter help them discover that there’s always a chance to live, as long as one is alive.
An Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection, and read by Ann Marie Gideon, COOKING FOR GHOSTS is an unforgettable tale of love, redemption, and divine female power.
Book Two: Spells and Oregano
A mother desperate to save her twin sons, a war veteran in torment, a beautiful young psychic with a terrible secret, a powerful magician with a shattered soul, and a Queen steeped in history and glory. These extraordinary beings cross paths and set off a remarkable chain of events in Spells and Oregano: Book II in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy.
Overcome by despair after a trauma when she was sixteen, Sarita Taylor has spent the past ten years isolated and lonely aboard her beloved RMS Queen Mary. Fearful of outsiders, she dedicates her time to managing The Secret Spice Café, now an award-winning restaurant. Until Luca Miceli, a man with a dark past, steps on board.
Patricia V. Davis deftly spins past and present, mystery and magic, into a potent story of passionate longing and family tragedy all at once. Spells and Oregano is a compelling tale of atonement, devotion, and undying love, set aboard one of the world’s most magnificent, haunted ships.
Don’t miss Cooking for Ghosts: Book I in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy. The Secret Spice Trilogy is an Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection.
Book Three: Demons: Well Seasoned
Dare to Believe in Your Power…
A long-lost grandmother. A stay-at-home mom. A comic book fan. A five-year-old girl with a star-shaped birthmark. And nine more.
The cast is bigger, the stakes are higher. When Sarita’s grandmother, a Vodou priestess, foresees a terrible evil, Cynthia, Jane, Angela, and Rohini reunite on a heart-rending mission to save all that’s precious to them, including the iconic ship, the RMS Queen Mary. They cannot do it alone–the priestess tells them there must be thirteen on the night of the thirteenth moon. in this life-or-death pursuit. Yet, can she be trusted?
Spiced with history and the supernatural, Demons, Well-Seasoned takes us from 1930s Glasgow, to New Orleans and Harlem in the 1950s, to present day southern California, and back again, on a metaphysical voyage that is both exhilarating and poignant. But before you embark upon this final sail with the denizens of The Secret Spice, be warned: expect to lose sleep, and keep tissues at hand. These valiant characters might just stay with you long after their story comes to a close.
Don’t miss Cooking for Ghosts, and Spells & Oregano, Books I and II in The Secret Spice Café Trilogy. The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy is an Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection.
Excerpt from Cooking for Ghosts
Unconcerned with what her business partners were up to, Rohini was giggling with excitement. Hugging herself, she whirled in circles, then flung her arms up over her head and collapsed back in dizzy elation onto the enormous bed in the glorious stateroom. Everything was glorious. She was here. This was her room. The Secret Spice was, in part, her restaurant.
And when she’d first seen the Queen from the back seat of Cynthia’s preposterous little car, she knew she was headed to exactly where she should be. She couldn’t stop smiling, until, abruptly, a lump formed in her throat and her eyes misted with tears.
“I made it, Zahir,” she whispered. “I made it.”
She sobered as she thought of him, of all he’d done for her, and all that she might still need to do on her own.
But that wasn’t for today. Today was for celebration and thankfulness. Getting up from the bed, she opened her case, pulled out all the little plastic sacks of spices and herbs she’d packed, and sighed with relief. Not a one had opened or torn. Even so, she could smell their pungent bouquet right through the protective wrappings. Rauvolfia, Serpentina, Jaiphal, Javitri, Khus Khus, Ashwagandha and more — why did cinnamon always smell the strongest? There were dozens of varieties that she’d stuffed inside shirt sleeves and trouser legs and white cotton gym socks, just like a drug dealer might hide a stash. The TSA had missed them completely. They’d even affixed a sticker to the top of her bag: “Checked by Homeland Security.”
Author Bio and Links
PATRICIA V. DAVIS’s debut novel series, THE SECRET SPICE CAFE, is comprised of three books: COOKING FOR GHOSTS (2016) SPELLS AND OREGANO (2017) and DEMONS, WELL-SEASONED. (2019) The audio books will be released in 2020 by Tantor Media, and narrated by Ann Marie Gideon. Patricia lives with her husband, who is both a poker player and a rice farmer, so she divides her time between southern Nevada and northern California. Say hello to Patricia at her author website: http://www.TheSecretSpice.com
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Patricia V. Davis will be awarding a $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Find out more here.
Follow Patricia on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.