Deb Susan Loves the Cupcakes – and the Memories

I’m a huge fan of cover art. I can’t even count how many books I’ve bought for the covers alone.

I’m also a fan of cupcakes – which I often refer to as “happiness on a plate.”

Imagine my joy when Deb Dana sent the rest of us an early peek at her cover art – and this arrived in my inbox!

girls guide mech-1.jpg

Cupcake!!! And cover art pretty enough to eat!

The joy continued when I received my ARC of THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS – which I admit I carried around all day simply so I could look at that cupcake cover. (Photograph or it didn’t happen? Here you go:)

13B Danas Cover at Work

Her book … my mug, printer, and photo (that’s me with my dad – I’m the bald one).

When I started reading Dana’s book, I quickly realized there was more to love about it than just the cover. The protagonist, Hannah Sugarman, is super-creative and talented in the kitchen (a trait I suspect she shares with her creator) and a genius when it comes to evoking memories with food. As I read about Hannah’s secret supper club menus, and the way she used different foods to call up memories, times, and places, I found myself transported not only to Hannah’s experiences but to memories of my own.

I remembered the day my teenage son decided to cook us dinner. He made us pizzas:

Christopher's Pizza

I remembered acting as cupcake chauffeur for a recent wedding:

13B Cupcakes in boxes

And I remembered older memories, too – for which I have images only in my mind.

Although it was the cover that grabbed me first, I savored every page of Dana’s story. Hannah is a hilarious, realistic heroine that I related to on so many levels, and the story had me laughing out loud (my husband came running twice to find out why) and cringing in sympathy with Hannah when things went terribly wrong. The ending was unexpected, and wonderful, and fun – like the cover and like Dana herself.

So … how do YOU feel about cupcakes? Do you have a favorite bakery or flavor? Let us know in the comments for a chance to win Deb Dana’s great contest prize!

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31 thoughts on “Deb Susan Loves the Cupcakes – and the Memories

  1. Man, I just want to lick that cover! Hey, it’s not scratch-n-sniff, is it? Because that would make it even more (dangerously) awesome. *grin*

    I do love cupcakes, any flavor, though chocolate is (of course) my favorite.

    • Cupcakes!!! Who can forget Deb Joanne’s gloriously torturous poll on which flavor cupcakes to serve at her SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE launch last year???

      I’m with you, Susan–you put food on a book cover (cookbook or no!) and I’m in. Add generous servings of humor and a great heroine and you’ve got a recipe for success!

  2. Your son MADE that pizza??? It looks amazing!! Bravo! Tell him I’d like to swing by some time and have him cook for me ;-).

    Picking my favorite cupcake flavor feels like asking me to pick my favorite child. How to choose??? I love both chocolate and vanilla, though if it’s chocolate, I like it with white frosting. On white or yellow cake, my mom makes this frosting that my brother always called “pink frosting,” which was basically standard butter frosting with a little grenadine. It was awesome, and it’s still one of my favorite combos to this day — vanilla cake/cupcake with pink frosting. My brother loves it, and even as a 28-year-old man, still requests it for special occasions.

    • Oh, and how could I forget COCONUT! Loooove coconut cupcakes. And chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. And…well, like I said. I have too many favorites to narrow it down.

    • My favorite cupcake of all time is the “Pucker Up” cupcake from Icing on the Cupcake (the yellow ones in the photo I posted) – sour lemon cake, sweet lemon icing, with a tart lemon curd filling. TO DIE FOR.

      Coconut and chocolate is a close second though. IotC also makes a “Chocolate Snowball” and a german chocolate cupcake that are amazing – well, all their cupcakes are pretty much awesome.

      Now I want cupcakes…

    • Yep, that was his first attempt at cooking dinner “all by himself.”

      He made pizzas (really flatbreads) using Trader Joe’s pre-mixed (but not pre-baked) fresh pizza dough, fresh-grated mozzarella, balsamic marinated tomatoes (he did the marinating) and pepperoni and fresh basil.

      I have no idea where he came up with this, but it was 100% his idea to put these things together. He’s got some mad skills.

  3. Red velvet cupcakes are hands-down my absolute favorite. If you ever get a chance to try Magnolia Bakery’s version, you may think you’ve died and gone to heaven. For my birthday last year, my husband made them from scratch for me from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook (he wins the husband of the year award!). Even the frosting was from scratch. The cupcakes were gone within 3 days 🙂 SO, SO GOOD!

  4. I love all things chocolate,but red velvet is a wonderful cupcake! Bakery near us won Cupcake Wars and I try not to visit too often….so good!

  5. I LOVE cupcakes! The nearest cupcake place to me is about an hr away- and when in town, I make sure to stop by GiGi’s and get a cupcake.
    I basically like most cupcakes- but the Wedding Cake one at Gigi’s is my current fav.

    When I’m at home and NEED a cupcake- I usually just make plain ole vanilla- and then frost to my heart’s delight. I add sprinkles and other decorations as well- just to make them all pretty and sparkly!

  6. My husband and I took the Sex and the City tour in 2010 when we were in NYC for the Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon. The tour ends with a visit to the eponymous Magnolia Bakery. Oh-so-scrumptious cupcakes was the perfect way to finish the day and to this day, my husband reminds me of eating 2 cupcakes as part of my “carb loading”. Hey, a girl needs sweet sustenance for a grueling run, right? 😉

  7. My fav cupcake mix is dark chocolate, but with a hint of jalapeno in there. I also like vanilla pudding mix in the cupcake mix. Yum!

    • That sounds so interesting!! I love making Mexican hot chocolate by adding a little chili powder to the mix, so I bet I’d love that!

  8. I have a small cupcake business and my two most requested flavors are chocolate chip cookie dough (my fav) with chocolate buttercream frosting and a Twix candy bar inspiration which has a caramel filling. 😀

    • Those sound a-m-a-z-i-n-g — especially the Twix variation. I looooove Twix and could eat them by the bag. Where is your cupcake business? I want some!

    • I love banana, too! In fact, my publicists are putting together a “book club kit,” and I submitted menus and recipe ideas, and one of the recipes is for banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!

  9. All of that food is making me salivate! Congrats on your release, Dana! Your cover is absolutely gorgeous. As a foodie and women’s lit lover, I’m so ALL OVER THIS NOVEL!!! 🙂

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