Guest & Contest: Donna Kauffman

Love & Cupcakes…the perfect recipe for romance!

I started baking when I was barely old enough to wobble on top of my grandmother’s old wooden stool.  She used to let me sift flour on the counter for rolling pie out crusts and biscuit dough.  I used an old metal ring with a red wooden handle to cut the biscuits.  (I still have it!)  And though my baking skills have remained somewhat rudimentary, I’ve always found comfort in the measuring, the mixing, and the wonderful scents of freshly baked cookies, cakes, and pies.

So, when I was creating a new series, I knew I wanted two things: a small town with a close knit community, and homey little bakery where the women in these stories would congregate, bake, and share the day to day details of their lives.  And from that The Cupcake Club was born.  (Or, as 83-year-old character Alva Liles calls it, The Bitchy Bake.)

Naturally, I couldn’t have just any small town set in Anywhere, USA. I wanted something unique, a little different…  So I decided on the barrier islands of Georgia, tucking in my own fictional island of Sugarberry at the top of the chain, which is more wilderness oriented and not particularly touristy.  I loved combining the feel of a small southern town with the somewhat more eccentric vibe of island living.

In the first book, SUGAR RUSH, we’re introduced to Lani & Baxter, two five star pastry chefs.  Lani is the one who comes to Sugarberry and opens her own cupcake shop, Cakes by the Cup.  Now, my personal experience in baking was nowhere near pastry chef level, so I jumped quite enthusiastically into that research!  So much so, I started my own blog detailing my escapades.  And…let’s just say, it turns out I’m far more Lucy Ricardo than Martha Stewart when it comes to elevating this culinary form.  You can read all about those adventures (and pick up some truly wonderful cupcake recipes) at

In book two, SWEET STUFF, things branch out a little as Baxter and Lani are producing their first joint cookbook, and our heroine, Riley, a food stylist, jumps in to help with production.  And let’s just say my connection to being Lucy Ricardo in the kitchen helped me a great deal when creating Riley’s character!

And now book three is finally here, and we find that Cakes by the Cup is branching out, and launching an adjunct business, BABYCAKES, which will focus on catering and shipping out Lani’s custom made cupcake creations.  Kit Bellamy, former heiress to Mamie Sue’s Peanut Pie empire, has come to Sugarberry to take on this new business venture after losing her family’s entire generations-old pie business to a ruthless brother-in-law and even more ruthless high-dollar Atlanta law firm.

So, naturally, she’s not all that excited to find out that Morgan, the gorgeous environmental lawyer who has recently taken up residence on Sugarberry, also happens to be a Westlake…from the very same family that ruined her own.   Of course, it’s hard to see him as the bad guy when he’s come to Sugarberry to raise his adorable five year old niece, Lilly, after the death of his brother and sister-in-law.  And he also gets caught up in the island’s contributions to helping the endangered sea turtles…a plight that also captures the heart of his niece.  And Kit’s, too.

The research for this book was truly enlightening, deeply moving, and very motivational for me.  All of my books are like my own children, but this one has a bit of an extra glow for me.  I hope you give it a try…and fall in love with Morgan, Kit, Lilly….and Paddlefoot & his friends as well!

Warning!  Stock your pantry with baking supplies before reading. The recipes at the end of this book are, as Lilly would say, Ah-mazing!

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USA Today  bestselling and award  winning author of over 50 books, DONNA KAUFFMAN has  seen  her titles  reviewed in venues ranging from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal  to  Entertainment Weekly and Cosmopolitan.  She lives just  outside of DC  in the lovely Virginia  countryside, where she is  presently keeping stock in  all things flour, eggs & butter for  her  hands-on research for her Cupcake  Club series. (To date, she’s  been far more Lucy than  Martha in the kitchen!)  To read all about  her (mis)adventures in baking—and get some really great  cupcake recipes while you’re at it!—visit her  alternative website  at When she’s not covered in powdered sugar or greeting the local  firemen at her door (again) she loves to hear from  readers! You can  contact her through her regular website at  And look  for more delicious fun this October with her SWEETHEART SUGAR COOKIE SWAP  Christmas anthology, followed  by her brand new BLUEBERRY COVE series launching  in November.


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44 thoughts on “Guest & Contest: Donna Kauffman

  1. Yes! I support the Somaly Mam foundation, which is an organization that lobbies against sex trafficking and human exploitation in third world countries. It has helped thousands of women and slaves, it’s important to me because I believe in the ethical treatment of all people, no matter what country they’re from and gender/ethnicity/class they are. Everyone has a right!

  2. Dawn says:

    I support the animal wildlife foundation and Avon’s breast cancer foundation. Helping to keep the wildlife from being destroyed is very dear to me. I love all wildlife and they were put here on earth for a reason and not just for their body parts or fur. In order to help them we all need to help the environment. Also Breast cancer foundation is very dear to me because I have at least 2 family members who have fight it and beat it, but there are others out there who might not have and we need to find a cure for all of us women and remind each other to do a exam

  3. We support our local Humane Society. It’s a no-kill shelter that is highly regarded in the community, but doesn’t have the monetary support that it deserves.

  4. Winnie Lim says:

    I support my local breast cancer foundation. My grandmother, mother and aunt all have breast cancer so I’m also considered high risk. I hope that something can be done to help prevent this disease.

  5. Kathleen O'Donnell says:

    One of the causes I support is the The Heart and Stoke Foundation of Canada. Many of my family have suffered with one or both of these medical issues. Both my parents died from COPD and my on my grandmother, my mom’s mom, many died from strokes. I give to other cauces lke Cancer, Breast Cancer and Overian Cancer espcially and The Sick Kids Hospital Foundation. I try to help as many causes as I can. I give to our Local Human Society when a beloved Pet of somene I love passes away in their memory..

  6. Catherine says:

    You can’t live in my area of the country, in Southeastern NC, and NOT be a sea turtle rescue supporter. We have a great local organization, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center, in nearby Topsail Island. They’ve really done terrific awareness and advocacy in our area about sea turtle protection and habitats.

  7. Bridget O'Neill says:

    Breast cancer research is near and dear to my heart, because I am a survivor, in fact, on December 11 I will celebrate being 6 years cancer free! I also have 2 aunts who have beat the disease. We need a cure now!

  8. chris bails says:

    Love donnas books. This one sounds great and would love to win and read this book. I love baking and eating sweets. My kids and husband especially love it. Plus the holidays are coming up and getting requests for sweets. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. erinf1 says:

    thanks for a fabulous post and giveaway! I’d have to say my local Humane Society and Children’s Hospital 🙂

  10. chris bails says:

    Sorry forgot to add that I support the ronald mcdonald house at the university of iowa and do looks of volunteer work for just about anythin in my community, especially for my kids school.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Yes, I support the American Cancer Society. Many of my friends and family have been affected by cancer.

  12. Valerie says:

    I have been following your blog since it started. I still laugh when I think about the time you baked red velvet and had the red dye turning your kitchen pink. What I enjoy the most is that you are so honest about all your mistakes and then the pictures look soooo very yummy!

    BTW, you folks that like DWTS will LOVE her blog posts about the show!

    Thanks for stopping by RtB!!!

    Valerie B.

  13. Valerie says:

    I didn’t see the entry so I’m adding mine…

    I support literacy by writing mini-grants to get free books for my students to take home through the First Book Foundation!

  14. Lisa H says:

    Most anything to do with military or children. Our military should never be forgotten and should never have to worry about their spouse and family back home when they are away serving. And children should never have to worry, period.
    This book looks like a fabulous read!!

  15. I am loving reading everyone’s replies. It never ceases to humble me, how wonderful and giving the reading and romance community is. You all rock, every single last one of ya! I hope you all made it through the storm okay. That’s been my outreach this week. Keep the great responses coming…..and good luck on having the winning entry! I hope you enjoy the book. 🙂

  16. Fiery Na says:

    The children’s hospital. I like seeing children smile and persevere. There are always community events going on and so many ways to make a difference.

  17. Marissa says:

    I have two causes that are dear to me . The first is Alzheimer’s research. After spending several years taking care of my mother I have seen the devastating effect it had both on her and our family. I also support pretty much any animal cause and have sponsored several national foundations as well as local groups.
    Have been reading DK’s books for several years now and I know I will always enjoy it when I pick it up.

  18. I did a lot of voluntary work before I was married. Since I got married eighteen years ago, I haven’t been involved in the greater community, rather I’ve concentrated on my four children. But when I get a chance to support any cause, I try to support cancer charities and anything which is involved with helping children.

    Donna, I’m intrigued by your books, they seem really lovely. I wish you all the best with the latest one.

  19. flchen1 says:

    For me, the organizations that work to help children and families in need are near and dear to my heart–I know I’ve been greatly blessed, and I want to share that with others. Thanks for visiting, Donna!

  20. Leanna H says:

    Until I moved to another state a couple of months ago I volunteered at tge local food shelf. Food is one of our most basic needs. When children go to school hungry they have difficultly learing.

  21. I’m on the Board of Directors of our local Historical Society. I’ve always loved history, and this is the perfect way to get invloved on a local level. A couple of years ago we moved our original one room school to the museum campus. Right now we’re in the process of renovating it so it can become a living history museum and community center once again. We hope to have the restoration complete by the village’s 100th anniversary in 2017.

    BTW, I’m hungry just thinking about your book! Can’t wait to get my hands on some of those recipes!

  22. Allison W says:

    The american cancer society, because I’ve known so many people affected from cancer and hope they will someday find a cure

  23. JoAnne says:

    I support a variety of health causes for those that have affected loved ones or close friends. Just a few are American Diabetes, American Heart, American Cancer and Alzheimer’s Association.
    Thanks for sharing. I better get busy reading – didn’t realize this was book 3.

  24. pc says:

    I support several (Revlon Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Heart & Lung Assoc, Alzheimer’s, Guiding Eyes, Special Olympics, children’s, animal and nature organizations and others)…but the big ones are Heifer International (it provides/promotes future sustainability in communities around the world) and Second Harvest (helps feed communities in the US).

  25. Lori Meehan says:

    I would have to say that my cause would be “being kind to every person I come in contact with”. I don’t think people do that enough.

  26. I love any organization that saves and rescues dogs (or any animals). I got my dog from a rescue site and I can’t imagine life without him.

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