Friday, October 12, 2012

Welcome fellow Passionate Cook and Best-Selling Author Cindy Sample!

After one too many corporate mergers, Cindy Sample found herself plotting murder instead of plodding through paperwork.  Her first Laurel McKay mystery, Dying for a Date, combines bad dates, real estate, a few dead bodies, and plenty of giggles. The sequel, Dying for a Dance, which she describes as Murder She Wrote meets DWTS, won the Northern California Publishers & Authors 2011 Best Fiction Award. The book was also a finalist for the LEFTY Award for best humorous mystery. RT Book Reviews says “Sample’s sleuth is an endearing character readers will adore.”

Cindy is a past President of the Sacramento Chapter of Sisters in Crime and served on the board of the Sacramento Opera and YWCA. Her website is and you can contact her at

Sharon: Tell me why you chose HOT CHA CHA CHA CHIPOTLE CAKE as your Passionate Cooks recipe.

Cindy: There's a nasty rumor going around that I can't cook.  I'm not sure where this rumor started, but I'm guessing it began somewhere in my kitchen. Maybe near that burner that ignited the last time I tried to sear a salmon.

Possibly it originated in the microwave. Have you ever seen a hot dog explode? It's quite a sight.
I'm still peeling dried sweet potato fluff off my kitchen cabinets from last Christmas. They did add a nice orange luster to the oak, though.
The cooking gene seems to have skipped a generation in my family. Fortunately, my children determined at an early age that they preferred to eat food that did not come packaged in Styrofoam cartons, so they learned to cook to avoid starving to death. My daughter particularly excels in baking any recipe that involves chocolate, while I excel in eating any recipe that involves chocolate!

There are people who can throw ingredients together and come up with a fabulously creative recipe. Then there are people like me who can religiously follow a recipe and still have it taste worse than three day old Taco Bell.

The one recipe that I can whip out without even looking it up is my HOT CHA CHA CHA CHIPOTLE CAKE. It’s 100% pure gooey chocolate and you really can’t screw it up. Well, if you dump an entire jar of cayenne paper into the mixing bowl, maybe you can.

This flourless chocolate cake is the perfect stimulus when you’re starting a new chapter in your book. Or in your life! There is one warning, though. Once you eat a slice, you will definitely need to cha cha cha off those tasty calories!

When All Romance e-books asked if I wanted to be included with the hottest romance authors in town, and all I had to do was contribute a recipe to their new Passionate Cooks, I immediately said yes. I wasn't going to let a little thing like my inability to distinguish between a TSP. and a TBSP. stop me from swapping recipes with other romance authors.

 These ladies have crafted sizzling recipes with even more sizzling titles. Who could resist Sensual Sticky Buns, Date Me - Baby, Passionate Pesto Pasta, Smokin' Hot Bourbon Beef, and my particular favorite, Sexy Stromboli.
I have no idea what Sexy Stromboli is, but I definitely want one. I'm just not sure if I want it in the kitchen or my bedroom!
My own contribution is a recipe that was not handed down from generation to generation. It was handed up from my daughter. With a slight tweak from moi. In honor of my passion for ballroom dancing, I've named it Hot Cha Cha Cha Chipotle Cake.

 Once you've eaten a slice, you'll need to cha cha off those tasty calories.
Sharon: Well, I’m all for some Cha Cha…. Tell me about your latest release, “Dying For A Date”.  The cover is wonderful!

Cindy: Not sure if she is looking for Mr. Right, or Mr. Every Other Saturday Night, recently divorced Laurel McKay reluctantly joins The Love Club, a matchmaking agency advertised as the safe alternative to on-line dating.

After Bachelor one decides he wants her for dessert, Laurel hits him with her cell phone. The next day she discovers her drop dead gorgeous date has literally dropped dead. When Bachelor two disappears during dinner, Laurel’s only alibi is a friendly bottle of Dom Perignon. The investigating detective has to decide if the sassy soccer mom is a killer, or the next target. 

You can find Cindy at:

Her website:


  1. Hi Sharon. Thanks for including my recipe today. Looking at that photo is making me salivate for more cake. Time to break out that mixing bowl!

  2. Me too, it looks incredible Cindy. Have a bite for me.

  3. OMG, that looks delicious! And I've been hovering over the cocoa for a few days now dying to make something. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Thanks, Teresa. This recipe is special for two reasons. It has cocoa and it's speedy! Enjoy.