Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Wednesday Promo- Anna Kathryn Lanier

Food and Love
By Anna Kathryn Lanier

From the writing of my first published story, I have had food in my stories. I suppose it’s possible to write a story where food isn’t mentioned. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of one of read that hasn’t included food, because even in the Regency novels that I read most often, at least tea and biscuits are mentioned, if not full sit down meals. In that first story, Happily Ever After, Leah and Marcus visit an Italian restaurant. A critique partner pointed out that I hadn’t written the scene very well…where were the smells? The garlic bread? The red wine? The red sauce? Where was the taste of the lasagna on her tongue?

In my second story, most of the food scenes were deleted for the sake of word count. I was especially upset with the ice cream sundae scene being cut….because it wasn’t your typical sundae eating scene. Let’s just say, it took place in the bedroom and, uh, wasn’t eaten out of dishes. I think I got the tastes of chocolate and strawberry toppings down pretty well there.

My next few stories featured food in more than passing comments. Soup d’Amour was actually written around a recipe for cream of mushroom soup. The recipe came first, then the plot. From that point on I was hooked on putting food in my stories, to the point that I included recipes at the end of the stories. From Pumpkin Bread to Peach Cobbler to Better Than Sex Brownies, I’ve added food.

In my most recent story A Gift Beyond All Measure, released today through The Wild Rose Press, Tessa Jones is a ranch cook, responsible for three meals a day for 20 hands. Due to a fire in the cookhouse, she’s forced to cook her meals in the Jacob Scott’s kitchen…much to his chagrin. Ah, but food is mentioned – the textures, the aromas, the memories.

Think back to your childhood and holiday memories. Do you remember the food? Do smells trigger memories for you? I love the aroma of hot tea with milk. It triggers memories of the year I spent in Finland, when I drank tea with milk more often than I do today. What about tastes? Oyster soup was something we usually had on Christmas Eve when I was a child. Slurping it down now reminds of the tradition of those happy evenings when we ate dinner then drove around looking at Christmas lights before returning home to open gifts.

In A Gift Beyond All Measure, Jacob is pulled back to his happy childhood by the aroma of peach cobbler cooling on the counter top. He participates in the long established family tradition of baking holiday goodies when he and Tessa make chocolate chip cookies together—a brand new Christmas time experience for her.

Food played such an important part in this story that I decided to put together a cookbook to help celebrate its release. The cookbook has 27 recipes, many of the foods mentioned in the story, a few recipes contributed by characters from my other stories and several by fellow authors (family and friends). The Gift Beyond All Measure Cookbook is now available on my website for FREE. Just go to and click on the Cookbook page. You’ll be able to download the pdf of it from there.

In the meantime, someone will win an electronic copy of A Gift Beyond All Measure today by leaving a comment. Have you used food in a significant way in one of your stories? Or have you been impressed by the way an author used food in a story you read?

Find out more about me and my stories at and if you want even more holiday recipes, stop by my blog during the month of December. I’m posting a new recipe everyday for Holiday Cheer.

A Gift Beyond All Measure – Blurb

Arriving home for Christmas, the last thing Jacob Scott expects in his house is a sexy, shotgun-toting stranger. Worse, his attraction to her bothers him even more than the gun. Still reeling from the deception of his long-time girlfriend, he’s not looking for romance.

Tessa Jones has learned one hard lesson—when everyone in your life has failed you the only one you can trust is yourself. Facing the whispers of the townsfolk and an arson charge, Tessa unexpectedly finds herself trusting Jacob with more than her legal troubles.

Struggling between the promise of the present and the hurts of the past, can these two lost souls overcome their pain long enough to discover a gift beyond all measure?


Helen Hardt said...

I like to use food in my stories took Anna Kathryn. My CPs usually say the scenes make them hungry, lol.

Renaissance Women said...

I had not thought of using food in my stories, partly due to restrictions in diet due to allergies. Still I does sound like a great way to incorporate the senses into a story, in more ways than just the one. I think it is time for lunch!

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I had to work and am just now getting to drop in and read the comments.

Yes, food, cooking, etc. is a great way to pull in the senses. I wonder if doing a food allergy might even be a good plot. A jealous 'other woman' could try to poisin the heorine by slipping her something she knows will harm her....hmmmm, a plot I hadn't thought of before...

Anonymous said...

So true! Food and smells trigger memories big time. I took a medicine when I was a child that was banana flavored and to this day banana milkshakes make me want to....
Liz Arnold
The Wild Rose Press