This is my stop during the blog tour for The Daydreamer Detective by SJ Pajonas. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 4 till 8 April, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours
The Daydreamer Detective (Miso Cozy Mysteries #1)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Mystery/ Cozy Mystery
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 31 march 2016
Luck? Forget it. Mei Yamagawa is fresh out of it. She's just been downsized from her 3rd job in five years and her bank account is dry. Now, to keep her head above water, she must leave Tokyo and move back to her rural Japanese hometown. And there's nothing worse than having to face your old rivals and ex-boyfriends as a failure while starting life over as a farm girl.
But when her best friend's father is murdered, and her best friend is named the main suspect, Mei turns her daydreaming ways towards solving the crime. Between dates disguised as lunches with the town's hottest bachelor chef, searching for clues, and harvesting sweet potatoes, Mei has a lot of non-paying work cut out for her.
Will she catch the killer before her bad luck turns worse? Or will she fry in the fire with the rest of her dreams of success?
You can find The Daydreamer Detective on Goodreads
You can buy The Daydreamer Detective here:
THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE Excerpt:
I surveyed the eighteen meter row of vines in front of me and stretched my shoulders before slipping in my earbuds and listening to some AKB48 — not my favorite, but high energy enough to keep me going for the next hour or two. Harvesting was my least hated job on the farm, so I wasn’t going to complain. I would’ve rather hired someone else to help with planting vegetables than hired people to harvest them. Taking a pair of shears in my gloved hands and adjusting the wide brim hat on my head, I started to snip away at the sweet potato vines. Snip, toss, pull. Snip, toss, pull. A pile of vines ended up to the side of the row as I made my way along.
“You’re gonna need a better pair of boots for doing this,” Mom shouted at me over my music. I turned it down, and she followed behind me with a potato fork, a large pitchfork she used to loosen the ground and unearth the sweet potatoes.
“I have old boots back in my apartment. We’ll get them tomorrow.” I closed my eyes and blew out a long breath, quelling anger at myself for getting into this situation. Normally on a Sunday afternoon, I’d be having coffee at a local cafe, reading a book, or going to the movies. I never imagined I’d be digging up sweet potatoes and living in my old childhood room.
Snip, toss, pull. I turned up my music and threw more vines to the side. I would have to return and cut some of the vines to keep in water over the winter and replant them in the spring. Most people just bought their sweet potato slips at the store, but Mom had cultivated this crop from some of her best harvests. We always replanted our same sweet potatoes, and the local stores sold out of them quickly.
Tomorrow, we’d come back, add compost to the row, and pack it down for the winter. It was a lot of work but worth it. One hill of sweet potatoes from one vine could produce a dozen or more potatoes.
I finished the row after ninety minutes and then backtracked to help Mom dig out the tubers.
“Mei-chan,” she shouted at me, indicating I should take out my earbuds. I pressed pause and popped them out. “I’m so happy you’re home.” She smiled at me, and my stomach twisted. I wished I could say the same. “It’s nice working with someone I don’t have to teach. Chiyo helps out, but the other people I hire need to be instructed to do everything.”
I had done this every year for over fifteen years, between school, homework, and cram school, too. Nothing was more like second nature than farming, and I hated every minute of it.
Or I used to hate every minute of it.
“I don’t know. I despised all this growing up.” I kicked at the dirt and sent a baby sweet potato flying into the next row. Mom frowned at me. “It’s so different from working in a store or an office.”
Mom hid her face under the brim of her hat as she bent over to throw more sweet potatoes into the basket.
“I know it seems lowly or backwards to someone like you, but this is a good life.”
I chastised myself for being a jerk again.
Top 5 Traditional Japanese Dishes:
When Mei first meets Yasahiro, the town’s newest bachelor chef, in The Daydreamer Detective, it’s not all fireworks and lovelorn looks across the room. She’s been a fan of city-style fast food straight from the convenience store for the past ten years or more, and Yasahiro’s Japanese slow food cuisine makes her want to roll her eyes. In the beginning, she’s very skeptical, and even though he’s annoyed by her behavior, he still wants to prove to her that his food is better than anything you can buy at the local 7-Eleven.
When I think of typical traditional Japanese dishes, my mouth starts to water and I seek out the ingredients at my local grocer. Skipping over fresh, hot rice from the rice cooker, these are my top 5 traditional Japanese dishes.
Miso Soup - A staple at many Japanese meals, miso soup, made from miso paste dissolved in dashi stock and garnished with seaweed and tofu, is a light but hearty hot soup that is consumed at any time of the day. I usually make mine with packets from the store, but homemade is even better.
Sushi - Of course sushi! Probably one of the most well-known Japanese foods outside of Japan. It’s rice and raw fish or vegetables, rolled up in vinegared rice, and wrapped in nori seaweed. I make it at home occasionally, but I love it fresh from my favorite Japanese restaurant. In Japan, sushi was once “fast food,” eaten standing up with your fingers. Now, it’s that AND it can also be upscale and gourmet.
Tempura - Possibly one of my favorite Japanese foods, tempura refers to vegetables, fish, or meat, breaded and deep-fried, usually served with a dipping sauce and rice, but also can be put into noodle soup dishes. Sweet potato tempura is my all-time favorite. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
Yakitori - Walk any of the city streets in Japan and you’ll smell it, the sweet aroma of meat, fish, or vegetables cooked over charcoal. Chicken and beef yakitori, small bits on tiny wood skewers, are the most popular versions of yakitori. You’ll see them cooking over hot charcoals and someone diligently flipping them and fanning the smoke away. I love eel yakitori. Mmmm. And in the autumn, mountain vegetables cooked over charcoal are especially delicious.
Soba and Udon - I had to put these two noodles together because they’re both quintessential Japanese dishes. Udon are white wheat noodles, usually thick and plump. Soba are darker, buckwheat noodles, usually cut thin. Both can be served in a variety of ways from cold with dipping sauces, in a bowl of soup or with curry ladled over them, or fried up with vegetables or meat. For an on-the-go meal, udon and soba cannot be beat. They’re filling, tasty, and affordable!
Now that I’m so hungry I could die, it’s time to go out and eat some delicious Japanese food! Do you have a favorite Japanese dish? Tell me about it in the comments!
About the Author:
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical. Find her online at http://www.spajonas.com.
You can find and contact SJ Pajonas here:
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Daydreamer. There will be two winners:
- One US Resident will win: One paperback copy of Adult Coloring Book Japan, One Signed Copy of The Daydreamer Detective, One signed copy of Removed, and a surprise flavor of Pocky!
- One International Resident will win: One ebook copy of The Daydreamer Detective, One ebook copy of Removed, and One ebook of each Rice Cooker Revenge, Washing Statue Wanderlust, and Mamachari Matchmaker
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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