MEET: Kay W. Smith, Author of LOTUS

lotus kay smithThe Book:

Newlywed Lotus Price has everything that she should have ever wanted: a great husband and a dream job as an executive of a prominent Chicago philanthropic foundation. Her life is going exactly as she planned—until she discovers she is pregnant and then unexpectedly encounters her first love. Despite his offer to be friends, Lotus wants to keep the past where it belongs. As the pregnancy begins to interrupt the dream that Lotus envisioned for her marriage, she is forced to rethink everything she thought she knew about her path to this point, including the single day that led her to her husband and away from the man she saw herself spending forever with. Now, as long-buried scars resurface, only time will tell what direction Lotus will take in the future—and who will be willing to give up what they have in order to get what they have always desired?

My Thoughts: Once I hunkered down and started reading LOTUS, I found myself fairly invested in the heroine of the novel – Lotus Price. What would she do? How is she handling this pregnancy? Why is her husband being detached? Why is the “love of her life” back in her life … NOW. I  felt like I was watching a great episode of Grey’s Anatomy (the early years, naturally) and it was fun. When I finally got to the last page, I couldn’t help but wonder  “Is Lotus Price going to be OK?”

Ms. Smith had made me care about her heroine and that was a great feeling!

I enjoyed how connected I felt  to the motley crew of characters that made Lotus a stand out for me. All of them were flawed, thoughtful and wonderfully grown-up.

There was no obvious “good guy versus the bad guy”, everyone was complex, layered and all had reasons for the choices that were made in the past — which, brought them to their somewhat messy present. A  rich and refreshing read, I do have one question for Kay W. Smith, can I expect a sequel? I must know what happens to Lotus Price!

The Take Away:  Life. It’s Complicated



kay smithBio:

Kay W. Smith is a writer and blogger living in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two sons.    She worked in public policy for several years before pursuing her passion to write full-time.  She is a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

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A Chat with Amy E. Reichert: Milwaukee + Coconut Cake

This summer I was really, really excited to read the debut novel,  THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE by Amy E. Reichert. I bought the paperback and ended up reading it as fast as  I probably eat coconut cake and lemme tell you, it did not disappoint. It’s fun, romantic, sweet and you really end up falling in love with the city of Milwaukee and all of its wonderful spots to eat, explore and have a romance.  The cast of characters are a delight to spend time with and you really root for love to win! Well, I did anyways.

if you haven’t had a chance to pick up this book, add it to your list, you will not regret it! 

Amy was kind enough to visit us here at  eat~write~love and  answered a few questions on writing, Milwaukee’s dining scene and book #2!

Thank you Amy! 

coincidence and coconut cake

Can you share any of your writing tips with readers and writers interested in your creative process?

Creativity and writing don’t always go hand in hand. With deadlines looming, sometimes you have to find a way to get it done, even if your muses are silent. In other words, power through. The only way to finish writing, is to write. Keep writing, even if the words are utter drivel. That’s the beauty of revision, you can always fix it later.

Al was initially unimpressed by Milwaukee as a culinary hot spot, do you find this to be often true with people you meet who aren’t familiar with the city? Can you expand on this?

One of the reasons I wanted to write about Milwaukee is it’s often overlooked, especially with Chicago so close. But it is it’s own city with it’s own character. Where else will you find racing sausages, world class festivals, and deep-fried cheese curds? It’s a quirky city – with the benefits of a big city but the charm of somewhere much more welcoming.


What are some of your favorite places to eat, drink and have cake in Milwaukee and/or Wisconsin?

Obviously, I adore Northpoint Custard, though there are probably many other exceptional frozen custard stands that are worth visiting: Le Duc’s, Leons, Kopps, and Gilles to name a few.  As for dining, my current favorites are La Merenda, Wolf Peach, and Morel – they all have a farm-to-table style menu that I really love.  Bryant’s is a classic place for cocktails, they don’t offer a menu  because their bartenders  can make anything – instead the waitress asks what you like to drink than make suggestions. Lastly, the best ice cream in the city is at Purple Door Ice Cream – they have a Brandy Old-Fashioned flavor that is amazing!


Tell us a bit about your own culinary background? Just an avid eater? A lover of dining out or cooking?

I’ve spent a lot of time in restaurant kitchens. I started working in restaurants when I turned 14, and put myself through grad school as a waitress. Now, I do love to dine out, but I also love to cook. I’ve learned enough that there aren’t many recipes that intimidate me – though croissants are still beyond my skill level.

Do you find that a restaurant critique has the power that your main character Al has in ruining the reputation of a restaurant? Does a bad review sway you from checking out a spot?

Based on my research, an official restaurant review probably won’t tank a restaurant that is already doing well, but it can

make the difference to one that is on the cusp, like Luella’s is in the book. Losing just a few customers a day can make a huge difference to a bottom line. In today’s age of online review sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp, I do think negative reviews are harmful to businesses. I’m often swayed by reviews. However, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to local places.


Can you share some of your favorite food fiction books you are reading now? 

When I’m writing, I try not to read books too similar to what I’m writing. Right now, I’m reading Wonder by RJ Palacio and I just finished Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren. Some of my favorite food fiction I have read is How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue and When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison.

What can you tell us about your next book? 

Luck, Love & Lemon Pie will be out next summer. It’s about a frustrated housewife who hatches a scheme to reignite her marriage–and risks everything in a gamble she hopes is a sure bet.

Learn more about Amy at: