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Cake Tragedies & Winner of Name My Leading Lady (and more)!

My mother loves chocolate cake, but that dessert is an endangered species. Nowadays every “chocolate cake” on a restaurant menu is that dense, flourless “death by chocolate” stuff, and she likes classic chocolate cake. So, I make her one for her birthday, because I’m a tremendous, award-winning daughter.

Now while I’m a pretty good cook, baking requires attention to detail and that is not my strong suit. Something always goes wrong. This time I made the icing using flour instead of powdered sugar (long story) and had to throw it out and start over… and then, after giving up on the second tier of my three tier cake, I asked my husband Mike to remove the cake that was in the oven when the timer went off and hopped in the car to take Mom 1/3 of a cake.

I was barely halfway to Mom’s house when the kitchen filled with smoke and Mike sent me this video.

Whoops.  Not sure what that banging noise is in the background. I think probably him hitting his head against the wall.

The dog was standing by the door waiting to be let out like he does whenever he thinks we’re all about to die. Loyalty. Riiight.

Winner of the Name My New Leading Lady Contest

Hundreds of entries and hundreds of names! A few I’m pretty sure were jokes, but I won’t say which for fear the people who sent them to me actually named their kids those names.  Ultimately, I narrowed it down to these:

  • Isobel (But it was my MOM who submitted it, so that’s awkward…)
  • Rowan
  • Catriona (Cat)
  • Lily
  • Esme
  • Aubrey

Funny thing was I’d already written 3/4ths of the book with the character named Lily… but it just wasn’t ultimately working for me. So the winner is…


It’s a Scottish name which may come in handy, too.

Several people submitted it: Cathy Ojavo, JoAnne Weiss & Jean Patton – so each of you can brag you named my character AND I’ll send you a free copy of the book when it is available (in about a month). Congrats and thank you!

27220d27-3d74-47c9-9988-32628113db5bIn other news, my friend Duncan Whitehead just discovered his publisher reduced the price of his best-selling series for a limited time if you’d like to pick it up!

$1.99 US & 99 PENCE UK!

Winner of the 2013 International Book Award and Worldwide Bestseller

Little is what it seems to be in a leafy Savannah neighborhood as members of an afternoon cocktail and dog walking club mourn a neighbor’s death. Jealousies surface when friends vie for the widower running for mayor. An old woman with an infamous uncle plots to avenge a wrong. Memories haunt a once successful children’s writer. And a model has won the trip of a lifetime.

But a killer lurks and secrets unfold, as does a web of deceit. Is anyone really who he or she seems to be? A mysterious South American, a young Italian count, and a charitable nephew add suspicion and intrigue, as do a secret organization linked to organized crime, a handsome firefighter, and three widows with hidden agendas. What’s a retired accountant’s secret, and why did a former showgirl really have plastic surgery?

The plot thickens, the Georgia temperature rises, and someone is destined for an early unmarked grave. The truth contorts to a climax that leaves readers breathless.  GET IT ON AMAZON

And finally (whew…) the weekly contest over at my web site. Happy Halloween!

Win Up To 20+ Halloweeny eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize Kindle “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks! (20+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles) October 24-31.


Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries.
Amy Vansant

24 Responses

  1. Kathleen

    I’m an old fashioned cook, but my husband was a chef in a prior life and spoils me with incredible food, luscious sauces, but unfortunately no desserts! I was a little teensy thing when I met him, but after 16 years, I’m now a chubby but happy thing!


  2. Carol

    I just love the “frantically getting nothing useful done.” That seems to be me many days…LOL Give you credit for baking from scratch…it’s becoming a lost art today…


  3. Alfreda Montecalvo

    Sure hope you have a self cleaning oven. I also overfill my pans.


  4. Pamela G.

    Been there and done that. 😏 I’ve made enough from scratch chocolate cakes through the years. Always for other people as I hate chocolate cake. I know that quite sacrilegious for many of you. 😱 I still make a lot from scratch, but really only 3 cakes. Those are Banana Crunch, Hummingbird and Carrot. One I always buy as I don’t really like making four layer cakes is an Italian Creme Cake.


  5. Anita Harris

    We have no shortage of both meals and baked goods in our house, as my husband and I both were cooks working for the state at one time. To get these jobs you have to take a written test about food, measurements and such as that.


  6. Kay K

    It’s time to switch to Texas cake. It’s one layer in a jelly roll pan and goes really, really fast. It’s also decadent, tastes like really moist brownie with fudge frosting. Only problem is that then people think you should make it for every day!!
    Sure hope next cake isn’t as much fun/trouble!


  7. Elsa

    Lovely stuff. Loved the dog thinking it’s D day lol. I also wonder about the weird noises, maybe it was the stove swearing and you need a stove whisperer! I’ve learnt to stick with one layer. I know the second one will be a mess. Problem comes with measuring – I cannot get from ounces to ml and from ml to cups, and all goes downhill from there, and that is with Google! Well done for getting a cake to your Mom xx
    Add your Twitter:


  8. Kathy

    My sister and cousin were making cookies and part way through mixing realized they were missing an ingredient. They went to the store, came back, and resumed. The first batch ran all over the cookie sheet. During the interruption they forgot to put in the flour.


  9. Celeste Schmitt

    Just for perspective, my mom used to decorate cakes professionally as a side business. The cakes were always homemade, so my sisters and I learned to bake at an early age. And yet, my youngest sister once made a cake for her family but couldn’t figure out what went wrong with it until she realized she used powdered sugar instead of flour. My mother did the same exact thing less than a year after my sister did. Boggles my mind, lol.


  10. Sue Hieber

    I once asked my granddaughter to hand me the flour, I started to put it in my roux, but realized the mistake just before I dumped it in the pot. Easy to do, funny either way.


  11. Theresa Navarro

    I am not much of a baker. I once made a pineapple upside down cake for my kids. We had an ant problem and I forgot to put the cake away at night. Next morning the entire kitchen counter was full of ants, but NOT ONE ANT was on the cake. My kids said, if the ants don’t want it either did they. Needless to say, I never volunteered to bake cupcakes for kids school events.



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