Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Extras

Debra enjoys a book with a few bonus things thrown in.

I read a lot of cozy mysteries. Many of them have little 'extras' thrown in...especially recipes. I've even tried one a time or two.

Even though I don't write mysteries, I thought it would be fun to include recipes in a story. In This Can't Be Love, my hero Zach is a chef. This would be the perfect book in which to add a recipe or two. But, I never did. Who knows? Maybe I thought of the idea after I'd already submitted and edited the book. Or maybe I didn't want something that different in one book of a series, since none of the other books would have recipes. One of these days (Famous last words, right?) I might add a page to my web-site and include some of Zach's recipes.

But I digress.

Because what I really wanted to do was include some in a book. Then another 'perfect' opportunity presented itself when I wrote my Thanksgiving novella An Unexpected Blessing. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and part of the reason is the bountiful, yummy, and cozy food associated with it. Homemade stuffing, cranberries, corn bread, pumpkin pie....Mnnn, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So in the back of the book I included about a half a dozen recipes that were mentioned in the book. There is...
Kyle's Favorite Pumpkin Cookies
Yvette's Pumpkin Pie
Mama's Oven Stew
Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
...just to name a few. All are recipes my family or I make around this time of year.

I called the added section "Thanksgiving with the Roths". (The Roths being the main family in the story.)

Reviewers and blog commenters seem to be pleased with the inclusion of the recipes. One reviewer called them an 'added bonus' and one commenter said that many would be making their way to her own table.

So I guess I'd have to say...mission accomplished.

Besides recipes I've also seen quotes, real-life history tie-ins for a fictional story, maps, and even more recently, QR codes.

Have you ever included anything extra in a story or seen something in a story you've read that's tickled you?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


An Unexpected Blessing from The Wild Rose Press.


  1. I've often thought of including recipes in a story. Seems like it needs to be a contemporary, thought. Mary Jane Davidson puts recipes in her stories; her heroine is a caterer. I am one of the authors who contributed to a cookbook called Bake, Love, Write. Dessert recipes.
    What if we wrote a cookbook and epublished it? I think I have the info to self-publish--and I know people to ask for help (who only self-publish.) It could be a good promo, especially if we link it it our books.

    1. That would be fun, Ana. Maybe that's a project we could think about.

      Wild Rose puts out a cookbook every year with recipes from their authors. It's a freebie, but each recipe is linked to the author and a book cover. (The book doesn't have to be related to the recipe.)

  2. I love when recipes are included. I read a novel about a knitting club and in the back of the book it included the pattern for one of the knitted items one of the characters made. I don't knit, so I couldn't use it, but I thought it was a clever idea. In my Jewish series, food plays a big role and for my marketing materials I have had recipe cards made--on the front is info about the book and on the back is a recipe that fits with the story (since each one takes place around a Jewish holiday, I include a holiday recipe for that book). It gives people a reason to keep the cards, rather than throw them away.

    1. That's a great idea. Every time they look at the recipe, they'll get a peek of your book! Wonderful marketing idea.

  3. I always love it with a book has a bonus, especially recipes. :) Your Thanksgiving novella sounds lovely, and it sure is the perfect story to include a recipe, but you went above and beyond with 6! That's awesome! Readers will surely love that. Some may even buy it at first because of the recipes, which is a great tool to get more sales. :)

    1. Hi Chrys,

      It's all about the sales, right? And I have gotten some 'appreciative' comments about the recipes. Which also shows they actually read the book, because they're at the back and with the e-version you wouldn't see those unless you have the entire thing. So, bonus there!

  4. I'd never thought of adding recipes, but I don't usually have a lot of food in my stories. Maybe I ought to include more!

    1. I guess I'm always thinking about food...I love to eat!, so for me it was an easy jump to include them in a story. :)

  5. I make my living creating and marketing foods, plus I love to cook, so food is ever present in my mind. I read cookbooks like novels. My cookbook hutch has more books than my romance novel bookstand.