Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so excited to have Maymee (Tonya)drop by today!
Death By Edits
I admit that when I started writing I had no idea what I was doing. I had an idea. I wanted ONE reader to escape their life by my one story. That was it. It wasn’t until I had written that book did I know what it really was like to be a writer.
Some people say that writing the novel is the hardest part for them. Ernst Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” I agree that writing a novel is far from easy. It takes discipline to sit down every day and knock out five thousand words. Believe it or not, that is the I immerse myself into a book as I’m writing it. I love those characters. I love their homes. I love the small town. I love everything about it. I live in their world for many months as I’m writing their story.
Then comes the part that I downright loathe! I mean it. I can’t stand editing. To make it less painful, after I write the first one-hundred pages of a novel; which is what I call the bones, I go back and add meat to those bones. I will add more descriptions, more dialogue tags, and more of the funny stuff. Then I will do this for the next one-hundred pages with a Diet Coke my side.
That’s not the end of the editing process. This is just the beginning. Once I go back and add the meat on the bones, I print it all out and do it all over again. I try to make the manuscript fat with words and with description all while making sure the timelines in the plot fit and work. After doing this a few times, then and only then do I send it off to the editor. But by this time another character from another series has already taken root in my head and started their story.
A few months later I get an email from the editor that their edits have been added and I have to take a look at them. I’ve already forgotten the plot and what everyone in the town looks like because I have moved on. I grab a cup of coffee and hunker down.
This is very difficult for me. I’m not the type of writer who can write a couple books at the same time. I can’t. I’m not wired that way. It’s awful. Plumb awful.
Since I have to get the edits back to my editor, I have to stop writing the current work in progress, go back and reread the novel that needs edits and start all over. By this time, I’m so sick of the novel that I just want to move on.
Then I send it back to my editor for a couple more rounds of edits. I don’t hear from the editor for a few months. Then out of nowhere, I get a copy of the ARC of that novel that I’d been so tired of. My eyes swell. My heart dips. I rub the cover. I crack the spine and start to fall in love all over again with those characters and that small town. And it’s just in time for them to move right back in my head for the next novel in the series.
Thank you so much for visiting today!
In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder.
Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.
With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?
When I first saw the cover of this book I didn’t know the author was a pseudonym for Tonya Kappes, but as soon as I read the first page, I knew I was reading a book by Tonya Kappes. She has a distinctive writing style and her characters are so much fun.
This new cozy series introduces us to Sophia Cummings, a pastry chef at a top Manhattan restaurant. That is until she finds her boyfriend, also a chef at the same restaurant, cheating on her. She decides to head home to Rumford, Kentucky to get a break. She quickly runs into a friend from high school and finds herself making her wedding cake. The reception is being held at the Rumford Country Club where Sophia used to work. She knows she will have everything she needs there to create the wedding cake of her friend’s dreams. Unfortunately, when she arrives she finds the club’s head chef, Emile, dead on the floor with a cast iron skillet nearby. She notices something about the pan and informs Sheriff Carter. The next thing she knows she has accepted the job as an interim chef for the club. Maybe while working there she can find out who clobbered the chef, but her main concern is that her friend’s wedding goes on without any more interruptions or dead bodies.
This series is off to a divine start. Sophia is a talented chef with a huge heart. She loves creating desserts that make people happy. She couldn’t say “no” to anyone, which is why she ends up committed to baking things even after the date she plans to return to Manhattan. Her mother, on the other hand, is demanding, bossy, and you know a mom that really loves her daughter. She is also not beyond a little matchmaking. Her father does his best to keep the peace and has a strong bond with his daughter. It was great to meet all of Sophia’s high school friends, even the one she doesn’t recognize. These characters are so well developed already in this first book. I am excited to see the beyond high school relationships grow and evolve. Their Southern charm shines throughout the whole story.
The author has filled these pages with a great whodunit too with plenty of suspects and twists galore. So well-plotted and full of clues and just the perfect amount of humor.
Ms. Bell’s descriptive talents set the scene perfectly. She has created this wonderful little town of Rumford and I escaped away right into it.
Southern charm, mystery, great characters, fantastic dialogue, and a bit of comedy make Cake and Punishment a must read! The talk of sweet treats will also have your mouth watering.
About the Author
Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all. This is her first SOUTHERN BAKER MYSTERY.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”