Tag Archives: Cynthia Harris

“Hometown Appetites: She Served Up Americana (With a Side Dish of Quirk)”

Today is Clementine Paddleford’s birthday.  If she were alive today she would be 119 years old!


“Hometown Appetites: She Served Up Americana (With a Side Dish of Quirk)”
By: Benjamin Schmerler

Clementine Paddleford wrote, “We all have home-town appetites.  Every other person is a bundle of longing for the simplicities of good taste once enjoyed on the farm or in the home they left behind.”

Benjamin Schmerler of the New York Post wrote, “If the food writer Clementine Paddleford were alive today, she would have at least two Food Network shows (one devoted to cooking, a second to travel), a weekly newspaper column, a cookbook series and, of course, a blog.  Or so it is easy to imagine by reading Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris’s smartly drawn, surprising uplifting biography ‘Hometown Appetites'”.

Schmerler continues, “Thankfully, the authors share Paddleford’s eye for a good story, deftly documenting their subject’s well-deserved contributions to food journalism, but balancing them with biographical color.”



Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and be entered into a giveaway drawing. Giveaway ends, September 30.


Giving away a signed hardback copy of Hometown Appetites; a $20 Amazon Gift Card; and a paperback copy of A Flower for My Mother.




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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Books, Genre, Non-Fiction

Old Empty Houses

Old Empty Houses
By Cynthia Harris

I would love to tell my story
But I don’t know how,
My owners left me forlorn
And some burn me down.
Yet I have lots of stories to tell.
My original owners were proud,
The day the first foundation stone was laid.
They looked forward to having
A new roof over their head,
And to the family they had.
But now they’re gone
And other family members
Have abandoned me
And I’m just
Waiting for my death.

© 2009 by Cynthia Harris

Photography copyrighted to Joe Harris, 2009

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Filed under Authors, Genre, poetry

Happy Birthday to Me!

happy-birthdaybeautiful-hd-picToday’s my Birthday and I sent out invitations for others to join me, however, everyone seemed to be too busy so I am eating CAKE all by myself.

Like my invitation stated, I am promoting all genres today even though February is Romance month.

And since no one wanted to party…guess you all had to big of a night on Sunday night after the Super Bowl Game…I am partying by myself.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of one of the books below, subscribe to my newsletter before midnight (Feb. 7th).  I will choose the winner on Feb. 8th.


Take time to visit the authors below and sign up for their newsletters.



by Clementine Paddleford and Cynthia Harris

Stories Paddleford wrote about her childhood.

  • Hometown Appetites, The Story of
    Clementine Paddleford the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate

by Cynthia Harris and Kelly Alexander

You can only get this book in Paperback and Kindle, if you would like to purchase a hardcover, I will be happy to sell you a copy.

Website – http://www.sparkinganvil.com/cindy.html

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Cyn_Harris


  • The Yellow Hoods Series

by Adam Dreece


Twitter: @AdamDreece
Signed copies available at TheYellowHoods.com/Store



by Jason B. Ladd

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Filed under Authors, Awards, Books, Cookbooks, Fiction, Genre, Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction, Religious

Whomever Has the Courage to Read Part II

This is a story I wrote in the late 1980s for a Children’s Literature Class.

You can read the first part here.

A loud crack of thunder brought Matt back to the present with a start.  He felt his heartbeats quicken as shadows danced around the room and the light swayed from the ceiling.  A bolt of lightning flashed across the black sky and the wind blew the tree limbs across the bare windows.  He felt his heartbeats quicken and the hair on the back of his neck quivered.

As a bolt of lightning flashed across the black sky and the wind blew tree limbs into the bare window pane, Matt took in large gasps of air and slowly let them out trying to stop his pounding heart.  He looked around the room and found a safe place in the corner where he snuggled down underneath a heavy quilt and continued to read:

September 13th;

You think it’s all imagination, don’t you? It’s not you know.  You have psychic powers to help me solve this so long ago mystery.  The drowning of Judge Smith and the slaying of Doc Baker.

Continue reading


Filed under Authors, Crime Fiction, family relationship, Fiction, Genre, Murder Mystery, Mystery, Young Adult

Whomever Has the Courage to Read

Whomever Has the Courage to Read is a short story that I wrote in a Children’s Literature class in the late 1980s.  Over the years I have thought about turning this story into a book.  Maybe, someday.


Being thirteen was difficult, thought Matt.  Too old to play with electric trains and too young to have a car. And, being stuck at Grandpa’s lake cottage for the summer and having it rain all day didn’t help.

Rainy days were easy to fill if you like to sleep, like Grandpa Henry did, listening to the squeak and hum of the fan, or sew like his ten-year-old sister Amber did on a scrap of fabric she had found in the attic.

“Attic.  A great idea,” Matt said to himself.  He climbed the old wooden staircase slowly, hoping he would not wake Grandpa, with the squeaking sound of the floorboards.

The heavy door groaned as Matt swung it back.  He reached for the light switch just inside the dark musky room.  Suddenly, the room filled with shadows by a long single bare light bulb swaying down from the rafters in the center of the room.

A huge cedar trunk stood in one corner.  Matt made his way to it watching the shadows lurk about and lifted the heavy lid.  Instead of patchwork quilts, the trunk was full of old books.

One book, in particular, caught Matt’s eye.  It was not very large and bound in soft leather the same yellow color of Grandpa’s work gloves.

Matt felt strange as he looked at the book.  He started to tremble and got the feeling he was trespassing.  Curiosity on what the book contained had him shoving aside his feelings and when he opened the book he read:

“To whomever has the courage to read me.”

“I have plenty of courage,” Matt said softly into the stale air.  He felt a breeze that caused the hair on the back of his neck to rise.  Matt looked around the room as though he was being watched and wondered where the breeze came from since the small windows were nailed shut.  Once he reassured himself he was alone, he took a deep breath and turned the page to read:

“July 9th;

“On the night Judge Smith drowned in Stockdale Bay, I saw you.  You were with him in his green beat-up flat-bottom boat.  Old Sheriff Taylor said Judge had whiskey bottles in the boat.  He then concluded that Judge Smith went out fishin’ alone, got drunk, fell overboard while trying to pull in a fish, and was, by then, too drunk to swim.

“But you know and I know Judge Smith was a good strong swimmer and drank nothing stronger than black coffee.

“Guess you had your reasons.”

Matt gasped, trying hard not to believe what he was reading.  Who was this Judge Smith and who was the author of this diary?  Scared and puzzled by the whole thing, Matt continued to read hoping he would find some answers.

“August 11th;

“Ma took me to see one of them new-fangled doctors they call psychiatrists.  I overheard them talking and they say I am crazy, but I’m not and you know it.

“Why did you kill Doc Baker?  Was he getting close to the truth about poor ole Judge Smith?

“Now you shouldn’t have killed Doc like that.”

…to be continued…

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Filed under Authors, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Genre, Murder Mystery, Mystery, Suspense, Young Adult


Opt in to my Newsletter before noon on Saturday, December 13, 2014

at – http://www.cynharris.com/contact.html

in comment be sure to say “Opt in for newsletter”

and be entered to win a copy of my latest book

Love & Kisses: WWII Letters of George A. Campbell to his wife Bea

Drawing will take place on the afternoon of December 13, 2014 and winner will be notified as soon as possible afterward and will be asked for a mailing address.

6x9-cover copy



Filed under Authors, Books, Genre, Military, Non-Fiction

Wow! A huge LinkedIn Surprise…THANK YOU

I received a letter from LinkedIn this morning stating that “I have one of the top 10% most viewed @LinkedIn profiles for 2012.”

WOW!  That was a huge surprise.

Could it be my name “Cynthia Harris?”  I know that there are many people with the same name, so I must share this with them.

Today, I want to thank everyone who viewed my profile that sent me into the top 10% of the most viewed profiles on LinkedIn.    I wouldn’t be in this spot without you!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

As a special “Thank You”  I want to offer you a chance to win a signed hardcover copy of my book Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicles How America Ate or a Kindle copy – your choice.

For a chance to win do one of the following:

  • Tweet about this blog
  • Share this blog with your friends and family on your Facebook Page

After you do one (1) of the above, come back and put the link to your “share” the comment section.  By doing this I can verify that you actually shared the information.

Because it takes a few days for people to read through all their blog posts and because many, like me, read the blogs on the weekends, the offer for a chance to win a copy of my book will go until 5 p.m. Central Time, Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

Once again, thank you everyone!







Filed under Awards, Books, e-books, Non-Fiction

Mark Your Calendar!

Mark your calendar for February 8-10, 2013 for our online Winter Book Fair here on this blog and at Black Lilac Kitty Literary Services.

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Filed under Authors, Books, e-books

Happy 114th Birthday Clementine Paddleford!

Clementine loved desserts.  This is one of her favorites.  The recipe was published in How America Eats by Clementine Paddleford. (NY: Scribner’s and Son), 1960 and in Hometown Appetites by Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris (NY: Gotham), 2008

Grandmother Caroline Paddleford’s Marble Layer Cake

4 cups sifted cake flour — be sure to use “cake flour” not self-rising or regular flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs, separated

1-1/2 cups whole milk

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2-9 inch cake pans.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar thoroughly.  Add vanilla.  Beat in well-beaten yolks.  Add flour alternately with milk, beating until smooth after each addiction.  Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Divide batter in half.  To one half, add chocolate and stir in.  Put into layer pans, alternating spoonfuls of light and dark batters.  Gently drop the pans a few inches onto the counter to settle the batter.  Gently smooth tops of layers with spatula.  Bake 18 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the layer comes up dry.  Put layers together with fudge frosting and frost outside of cake.

Yield: 9-inch layer cake

Fudge Frosting

4-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup hot, freshly brewed coffee

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Sift confectioner’s sugar and cocoa together into a medium bowl.  Stir in butter, then coffee, then vanilla, mixing well with a wooden spoon after each addition until frosting is smooth.





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Filed under Authors, Holidays, Uncategorized

Clementine Paddleford Online Exhibit

I hope you enjoy this Clementine Paddleford online exhibit.

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Filed under Authors, Books