Today Ryan Jo Summers is back on Wednesday Writers. Today she’s giving us the background behind her latest novella Coffeecake Chaos. The novella is part of the Food and Romance Go Together Anthology Vol 1, which comes out mid to late April, 2017 from Melange Books. Ryan’s story is sweet romance, but she doesn’t know the heat level of the other stories in the anthology. In addition to today’s Story Behind the Story post, Ryan Jo is sharing a yummy recipe that goes along with her book title—Coffeecake Chaos. I can’t wait to make this delicious treat! Welcome, Ryan Jo.
By Ryan Jo Summers
(Food and Romance Go Together Anthology Vol. 1)
Avianna Goodman and Sawyer Steele had been young lovers. Now she is a caterer, building her own business. Right now she needs cash to help her family. He’s being ordered to stop his wild ways and settle down to take over the family empire. His controlling mother has picked out the perfect heiress for him. Now they need the right caterer to launch the perfect engagement celebration.
Coffeecake Chaos – the story behind the story
A publishing house had two calls for submissions going at the same time. They wanted short stories for anthologies. The first one was To Love a Scotsman and the other was simply food related somehow. I was more interested in the love a Scotsman idea, but dually noted the information for both calls.
Then I left them to simmer, like a pot on the stove, to see which one would eventually surface as a good storyline.
Unfortunately, I really could not come up with anything solid for the Scotsman story, hard as I tried. I had a hero’s name and that was about it. Eventually, I had to admit I just didn’t have a story there. Bummer.
However, I was building my pet sitting business, and one of my new clients was a team of caterers. There was a clear food connection! I started thinking that would be a fun career—at least in a literary world. I started paying close attention to little things they said, just bits of conversation. And the wheels started turning.
Going back further, years ago (90’s), when I was newly married, I would make a streusel coffeecake while cooking breakfast—it was that crazy easy to whip up—and give it to hubby to share at his work. It earned me brownie points with his co-workers and made him seem like “the man”.
Over a period of a few weeks, the plot grew, centered on a caterer and her coffeecake. The characters fleshed out like plump browned fowl, the plot thickened like gravy, and a story was created like a menu paired with good wine.
I submitted “Coffeecake Chaos” and soon the good news came that it had been accepted.
Filling: Mix below items together with fork in small bowl before mixing cake batter: ½ C brown sugar, 2 Tbls. flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 Tbls. melted butter and ½ C nuts (optional) Batter: 1 ½ C sifted flour, 1 ½ tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt and ¾ C sugar. ¼ C shortening, ½ C milk and one egg (Well beaten)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Sift dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with pastry knife or fork. Blend in egg and milk.
- Spread half of batter in greased, flat 8 X 8 or 6 X 10 inch pan. Sprinkle with half of filling. Add rest of batter and sprinkle remaining filling on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Good served warm or room temp.
Optional topping: warm maple syrup and mix with brown sugar and drizzle over top. Or blend a few teaspoons milk with powdered sugar until runny and drizzle over top. Crumbled, cooked bacon or chopped nuts are good sprinkled over this too.
** I really don’t recall where this recipe originated from to give proper credit to. I inherited it from my mother and tweaked it some over the years.
About the Author:
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.
Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants (50ish and growing), poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.
Ryan Jo Summers—Proud author with Soul Mate Publishing & Melange Books
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ RyanJoSummers