Welcome back to the blog. Today I’ve got author Kimbra Kasch talking about how reading/writing is a lot like cooking.

Here’s Kimbra!

Maybe you’ve never thought about it before but reading is a lot like cooking. Sometimes we want something sweet like a slice of cake or a piece of pie.


And there are days when all we want is something savory or spicy – like Cajun rubbed Pork chops with salsa


or chicken or thyme roasted chicken.


And there are days when all we want is a quick little beach read like Dewey the Small Town Library Cat but there are other days when we want to get immersed in a mystery…like Gone Girl.

But whether we are baking or reading or even writing we need to consider a few important things:

  1. The Ingredients.

When we’re talking food, we’re talking about the appropriate spices and articles to make sure we have on hand, like thyme, chicken, lemon, limes, etc.

And when we’re talking about reading or writing, we want to make sure we have the characters who can provide enough sweetness to whet our appetites for more. We have to have a reason to care about the characters we’re reading about, or we’ll be tempted to go back out into the kitchen for that second piece of cake or another slice of sweet juicy pie.

But then, we also need the character to have something he/she is fighting for, whether it’s survival or that first loving kiss. And it has to be savory enough to leave us feeling satisfied at the end of the chapter or we won’t want to turn the page to find out what happens next.

  1. Instructions: Baking Time.

When we are cooking, we have to know how long we have to bake the pie or cook that chicken and it’s the same with reading or writing. We don’t want to have everything finished too soon or we will close the book before we even finish the story…maybe even the first chapter. The writer has to leave the reader wanting to go on…

  1. Optional Seasonings.

A chef or even a good home cook knows how much seasoning to add to the pot of soup or to rub on the roasted chicken. Too much salt can ruin a good stew. And it’s just the same with a good book. If there isn’t a good balance of sweet to spicy we can feel overwhelmed with syrupy sugar or we can be searching the table for a cold glass of milk to quench the hot spice burning our mouths. Cooks often ask others to “take a taste. And this is where critique partners come into play. A good writer always has a couple “readers” take a “taste” of the story and give their opinion whether it is sweet enough or spicy enough to hold their interest.

  1. Proper Serving.

It is often said that we taste first with our eyes…so with a book is that the cover? 😀

Well, the truth is, it usually isn’t difficult to find people willing to take a beautiful piece of pie off your hands but it isn’t always so easy to find readers willing to take a chance with an unknown author. This is where marketing comes into play…but that’s an entirely different post. . .

I hope I’ve whet your appetite for another post on marketing and perhaps Mouthwatering Mussels or should that be muscles . . . ?





CatsOfCullabyCreekCoverWhen Savannah meets Kyle, its love at first sight. And why wouldn’t it be? He’s perfect, as far as she can tell. But when she starts finding dead animals in her yard and hears something scratching at her window at night, she starts to worry. What’s worse? Kyle appears whenever things go wrong. Maybe he isn’t everything she thought he was. It’s a complete mystery until she discovers the water in Cullaby Creek is being bottled and sold as vitamin “infused” water. Mistic Water promises the impossible. And then, like a magical elixir, it delivers. People who drink it feel younger, smarter, faster…healthier. But it doesn’t take long before side effects hit. Everyone begins to change or “tate”. Some are becoming dangerous animals. Literally. And the secret to what they are tating into has to be in the water…or is it something more?











And join me on Twitter or stop by and see what I’m pinning on  Pinterest and, if you’ve read one of my books and have a question or simply want to share a comment, please feel free to send me an email. I love connecting with readers.

Find Kimbra on Facebook

Check out Kimbra’s  Website

Cindy here again

I’ve never looked at it this way. Very interesting.

Happy writing!

Writers – It’s what we are

Today I’ve got Elysa Hendricks on the blog talking about why we write. I loved this piece and I completely agree with Lisa.

Here’s Lisa!

Writing is hard work. Whether an author writes fiction or non-fiction she spends weeks, months, sometimes years working alone to create her prose. She opens her literary veins and bleeds her hopes and fears, dreams and insecurities onto the page, a process much like giving birth, in the hope that her words can convey her ideas to some unknown reader.

Then once she writes those two glorious words – The End – she discovers that the process has merely begun. Now she has to revise, edit and polish her opus. And after that the hard part begins. She carefully packs up her imperfect infant and ships her off to a harsh stranger, the ultimate judge – The Editor.

If she’s fortunate The Editor will like her carefully crafted words and want to publish them with only minor revisions and edits– say, 299 pages out of the total 300. Most of the time though the answer comes back – Thanks, but no thanks – with little or no explanation as to why her baby didn’t make the grade.

Writing is hard, lonely work. Rejection is more common than acceptance. And with few exceptions the monetary rewards are small. So why do we continue to write?

Why do we breathe? Why do we eat?

We write because it’s not what we do, it’s what we are. We’re writers. Storytellers.

Mankind’s need to communicate goes back to the caveman. Even without the benefit of the written word, or pen and paper, cavemen were compelled to put down their history and stories on the walls of their caves. The human need to share our thoughts, dreams and stories was so strong we created the written word.

Each of you feels the same compulsion that long ago caveman felt. Inside your head the voices of your characters clamor for their stories to be told. You’re reading this because you want to learn how to better tell those stories. To learn more about the craft of writing – the rules.

Sommerset Maughm said, “There are three rules to writing, unfortunately no one knows what they are.”

This is both true and untrue. Writing is a both a craft and an art. And as with any craft there are skills you can learn – spelling, grammar, POV, Show Don’t Tell, Goal, Motivation, Conflict, Scene & Sequel, etc. These are the so-called “rules” of writing. They can be learned and practiced and used to enhance your writing. And once you know them there will be times when you’ll chose to break them.

But writing is also an art. You can learn the craft of writing, but it’s the art that gives writing its life.

Maybe it would be clearer to call the parts – mechanics and talent – rather than craft and art. Like Lance Armstrong I can ride a bike. I can even go fast – for a short bit. Maybe with training I could improve my mechanics of riding to ride faster and longer, but would I ever have the talent for racing that Lance displays? I’ll never know for sure, but I doubt it, because I don’t have the desire to be a bike racer. That doesn’t mean I can’t continue to enjoy bike riding and continue to improve my skill.

Over the years I’ve attended writing workshops, read books on writing, and most of all I’ve written to improve my writing mechanical abilities, but do I have talent? I like to think so, but I’m not sure. In the end it doesn’t really matter. The need to write, to tell my stories is overwhelming. I’m a writing addict. Talent or no talent I’d rather stop breathing than writing. So like the song says, “I’ll just stay addicted and hope I can endure.”

Talent is a gift, but like a tender young plant it must be protected, cultivated, supported and fed. Rejection forces us to grow tough outer skins to protect the bud of talent in our souls. To cultivate that bud we take writing workshops to improve our skills, and by improving our skills we support our talent. Every word, every sentence, and every story we write nourishes and makes our talent stronger.

So read, learn, grow, and write.

About Elysa:

Elysa Hendricks is 5’6″ tall. She has curly hair and brown eyes. She’s an author, a wife, a mother, and a daughter. Everything else is subject to change without notice. She loves hearing from readers and other writers. You can find her on her web site: http://www.elysahendricks.com or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elysa-Hendricks-Author/137316289643103

Blurb for The Baby Race:

Race Reed doesn’t want a wife, but to save his ranch he needs a baby. To gain custody of her stepsister, Claire Jensen needs a husband, but she wants love. Wants and needs are bound to clash when they run The Baby Race.

Race Reed reserves his love and attention for the abused horses he cares for on his ranch. Because his mother changed husbands as often as she changed clothes, doesn’t believe in wedded bliss. Now to save his ranch he needs the money his paternal grandmother is offering as a marriage incentive. The bizarre contest she’s set up between him and his two cousins to produce her first great-grandchild is another matter. His only option – cheat in The Baby Race.

Claire Jensen wants two things out of life, home and family. During her younger years she never questioned her father’s nomadic lifestyle as he hunted for treasure, but as she grew older she longed to put down roots. When her father remarried and gave Claire a stepmother and baby stepsister, she’d thought her prayers were answered. Instead, she took over the parental role to her stepsister as her father and stepmother continued to search the world for treasure. In every way that matters, the six-year-old is Claire’s daughter. When Claire’s father and stepmother are killed on their latest quest for treasure, without a steady job, husband or home, Claire is about to lose custody of her young stepsister. Her only option – run the The Baby Race.

To everyone who visits today Elysa is offering a FREE ebook copy of my contemporary romance COUNTERFEIT LOVE. To download your FREE copy of COUNTERFEIT LOVE go to: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/83527
Use Coupon Code: MM24E (Expires 12-31-12)

Cindy here!

Thanks so much for joining me today, Elysa. I’m going over to Smashwords now to get my copy of your book!

Happy writing!


Not a Picky Reader. Not Really, Anyway.

Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I’ve got Jordanna East here talking about what makes a non picky reader annoyed.

Here’s Jordanna!

I’m a reader. I know what you’re thinking: “ME Too!” But no, I’m a reader-reader. Just this year alone I’ve read more than seventy books, both indie and traditionally published. That’s some serious reading, right? So, it’s no wonder that I’m not an overly picky reader. I used to only read crime novels and horror, but I’ve recently branched out into historical fiction, YA, paranormal romance, and dystopian. I even read a few contemporary fiction novels. My point is, well, you get the point.. HOWEVER, there are a few things that bother me, that steal me away from the focus of the story, that cause me to roll my eyes in annoyance.

Here they are:

1. I can’t keep track of your characters. Sometimes a story has too many characters and they all have a name. The gas station attendant doesn’t always need a name if he only appears in one scene and has nothing to do with the plot. Also, I can’t keep up if several of your characters have the same or similar names. I don’t want to have to keep a notepad on hand just so I don’t keep confusing Bobby with Jim-Bob, or Bobby-Joe with Bob Jr.

2. Purple Prose. Don’t get me wrong, I love description. Probably more than I should. I love to be able to envision a character’s appearance or their surroundings. But I don’t need pages upon pages to do so. A well-crafted sentence or two will do just fine. Stop rambling on about blades of grass in the wind.

3. You have a thesaurus, we get it. I have a pretty extensive vocabulary (and I don’t mind expanding it even further), but when an author uses words I don’t think I’ll ever see again, I get annoyed. What’s worse is when the words don’t fit the context. Oh no, wait! What’s even worse than that is when the words are included in everyday dialogue and you as the reader just know in your heart of hearts that no one speaks like that. Gosh that’s the worst!

4. Jargon. I couldn’t be happier that you left your law firm/corporation/secret spy network to become an author, or that you did a ton of research on said vocations. But I never worked for a law firm/corporation/secret spy network and wasn’t aware that I had to do my own research before being able to understand a lick of your book.

5. Repetitive words and phrases. I recently read a book that overused the descriptions “smile held no humor” and “face clouded over.” As I read those terms over and over and over, they began to describe my own face.

Ok, so maybe I am a bit picky. But I’m sure it’s not just me. 😉

About Jordanna: Jordanna East is currently working on a full-length novel entitled Blood in the Paint. It’s a psychological thriller in which a seductive female serial killer and the ambitious young cop on to her are both seeing the same psychologist, who also has deadly ties to their pasts. She is also concurrently working on the prequel novella entitled Blood in the Past, which she plans to release in the Spring of 2013, followed by the novel in the summer. She’s married and living happily in Southern New Jersey with her husband and their slightly obsessive love of sports. Visit Jordanna at her blog, her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter @JordannaEast.

Me again! Thanks for being here, Jordanna!

What about you? Are you a picky reader?

Happy writing!


Follow Us!

Subscribe via RSS


This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.