Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jessica Barksdale Inclán bakes *with* a a book giveaway

Today we are pleased to have Jessica Barksdale Inclán at CLC to talk about her baking experiences when she tries out all the recipes in her latest novel, How to Bake a Man. Thanks to Ghostwoods Books, we have TWO copies for readers in the US or UK!

Jessica Barksdale Inclán is the author of twelve traditionally published novels, including the bestselling Her Daughter's Eyes, The Matter of Grace, and When You Believe. She has also published several e-books and a women's studies textbook. Her work had been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Czech.

Ms. Inclán teaches composition, creative writing, mythology, and women’s literature at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, as well as online novel writing courses for UCLA Extension. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and is currently at work on a young adult novel.

Visit Jessica at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

When Becca Muchmore drops out of grad school, all she has left to fall back on is her baking. Ignoring her mother's usual barrage of disapproval and disappointment, she decides to start a small business hand-delivering her wares. A friend introduces her to an office of hungry lawyers, who agree to give her a try. Her lizard-booted neighbor Sal is happy to help out when he can, and almost before she knows it, Becca's Best is up and running.

Before she can settle into a routine, things get complicated. The office ogress could easily be Becca's sister and has absolutely no patience with cookies or other frivolities. Even worse, her boyfriend is the man of Becca's dreams--kind, funny, successful, and brain-meltingly gorgeous. As the dark undercurrents threaten to pull her down, Becca swiftly finds herself neck-deep in office politics, clandestine romance, and flour. Saving her business (and finding true love) is going to take everything she's got, and more.

Test Kitchen

The task? Bake all the recipes included in my novel How to Bake a Man.
The objective? Make sure the recipes are locked down and clear, as some of them go back over one hundred years, back to my great-grandmother. She, my grandmother, and mother wrote down directions in an almost shorthand, their beautiful cursive fading on the 3 X 5 cards and sometimes a bit terse.
The bakers? My husband Michael and me.
The location? Our kitchen.
Ready, set, go.
Of course, I’d been eating and baking these delicious treats most of my life, but I wasn’t going to unleash bad math and chemistry out into the world. So Michael and I started in.
“How much all-purpose flour do we have?” Michael called out from the kitchen, where he was making Honey Nuts.
“How much do you need?” I asked.
“All of it. And more.”
A drive to the grocery store and six cups of flour later, we had the full recipe chilling in rounds in the fridge.
We peeked in. “How many will it make?” Michael asked, fear in his voice.
I shook my head. “Grandma never said.”
About 100 cookies later, we’d figured it out. Suffice to say the recipe is spot on math wise, but cut it in half. Or wait till Christmas to make them.

We gave them to our dog sitter.
Next up? Sand tarts. Delicious. We ate them all.
“No more until I lose five pounds,” I said to Michael.
“No time for that. Go buy some yeast.”
Three batches of cinnamon rolls later (two delivered to our beloved next-neighbors, who stopped answering their doorbell after that second batch) we knew the recipe was perfect. We added a bit more butter, though I still think nuts would be a good option.

“Stick to the recipe,” Michael said. “Onward.”
The rum cake was perfect, as always, so delicious that we ate half of it for dinner.
“Who needs broccoli?” Michael said.
“Bring the second half next door,” I said.
“What second half?” Michael said, his mouth full.
The brownies—the recipe I made throughout my sons’ childhood—magically vanished. I’m still not sure who ate them. Cheesecake, sugar cookies, pumpkin muffins, chocolate chippers, we baked late into the nights. Sometimes I thought I heard Michael upstairs at 2 am, the glug of milk into a glass. In the morning, crumbs on the counter.
By the end of all the baking, we were sugar high and slightly plump. But the good news is that all the recipes Becca makes in How to Bake a Man you can make, too. Trust me, we’ve tested them all. Now, off to the gym.

Thanks to Jessica for an entertaining guest post and to Ghostwoods Books for sharing the book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US/UK only. Giveaway ends October 28th at midnight EST.


Janine said...

It's very early in the morning, but I am now craving cookies after reading about this book and seeing the pictures. :)

I think the most important ingredient in a relationship is trust. Without it, you don't have anything.

TinaB said...

Love is the most important ingredient!

Wise Ways said...

Understanding xxx

Rhonda j g said...

Honesty and trust

traveler said...

The most important ingredient is trust and having a great deal in common. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

Honesty and communication

Jessica said...

Trust and love

Unknown said...

Trust is the most important ingredient in a romantic relationship.

jodi marinich said...

most important is trust

Anita Yancey said...

The most important ingredient in a romantic relationship is love, trust, and understanding. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Melanie Backus said...

The most important ingredient in a romantic relationship is love.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Melissa Seng said...

Communication is THE most important ingredient. If you don't say, you don't know.

kj19 said...

honesty and respect

Anonymous said...

How yummy all of this was!
Trust is the most delicious ingredient for me!
Thank you, Cindy

rubynreba said...

Honesty and Trust

Felicity Smith said...

Honesty and communication

Unknown said...

I would have to say trust!