Monday, November 26, 2018

Saucy Cranberries 10: FAKING IT: A RECIPE FOR DISASTER, MG Contemporary OV

Genre: MG Contemporary Ownvoices
Word Count: 42,000

How did you fall for writing:
As a teacher and reviewer, I’ve read thousands of YA and MG titles, and I realized I have my own stories to tell. I stewed over it, talked about it and convinced my best friend, an avid reader, that we both could write our own novels. We drafted and edited with help from each other on every chapter. I can’t imagine writing a novel without our hours long text conversations. There is nothing better than a CP who understands your story. RECIPE FOR DISASTER is based on my own cooking adventures and entering recipe contests with recipes I dream up. In fact, Kyle’s winning recipe is my recipe, and like him, I never prepared it!  

When plus-size eleven-year old Kyle enters a recipe in an online contest, he wins a coveted spot on a wildly successful junior chef reality TV competition, Kids in the Kitchen. The winning junior chef will take home the $100,000 prize and a summer internship with a celebrity chef. Kyle knows exactly which chef he’ll choose: his very own father. His father may be a top celebrity chef, but he’s not a top father. He leaves Tampa Bay abandoning Kyle with nothing but a battered notebook of handwritten recipes and a love of cooking shows. Kyle mourns the loss of his father, turns to food to fill the void and dreams of a world where he’ll be judged by his body of work and not his body.  Winning the cooking competition would show his father and the world that he can be good at something. There’s only one problem: Kyle can’t cook!

Kyle turns to his father’s notebook, finds an old recipe and tweaks it. His father’s recipe wins him a spot on the all he has to do is learn to cook. Best friend Addie has the perfect solution: learn from YouTube. With her help, he pours his energy into learning the basics and feels he is ready. On the eve before the cooking show, Kyle shows how unprepared he really  is. He sets a pan on fire at his hotel causing the hotel to evacuate all guests. As if this wasn’t embarrassing enough, the other junior chefs are staying in his hotel, and now everyone knows he’s the kid “who set the hotel on fire.” When the news cameras show up, Kyle hides.

Kyle must win “Kids in the Kitchen” to silence his bullies at home and to show his chef father that he is worthy of his attention. If he doesn’t win, the bullies will have the last laugh and he may never have another chance at a relationship with his father.

Complete at 42,000 words FAKING IT is a middle grade contemporary novel. It will appeal to fans of “MasterChef Junior,” THE NEXT BEST JUNIOR CHEF, and BETTER NATE THAN EVER.  It is own voices for weight and body image.  

First 250:
No one ever said butchery was easy. I slide the steel blade down the delicate white backbone careful not to pierce the meat on either side. I want to get two clean, unbroken cuts. They make it look easy in videos.
Lesson #1: Don’t trust videos. You see the edited, cleaned-up version. You don’t see the hundred early attempts and apocalyptic fails.
“Do you need to watch it again?” Addie asks with her face scrunched up. She has that You’re- not-doing-it- right!-expression she gets when my performance isn’t  up to her caliber of excellence.
The knife shakes in my hand. I rein it in trying not to get frazzled by her scowl. She’s only five feet tall. I tower over her, but it’s smart not to mess with Addie, trust me. She’s my best friend, but she’s also a master perfectionist.
Chef Graysen Randell says, “A top competitor must keep his cool at all times.” He’s my favorite chef, and I  channel him when I cook. Well, him and my dad. My dad’s almost as famous a chef as Graysen Randell, but he’s  not much of a father.
The doorbell rings and I jump, dropping the knife on the counter. As it clatters to a stop, I glance over at Addie who’s staring at me. “Nervous, much?” The smirk on her face makes me smile back at her.

My mom runs down the hall, and the door creaks open. Good. She answered the door, so I can continue my artistry. I reach for my knife.


  1. This is posted for Lauren Galit at LKG Agency as my blog apparently hates her. Bad blog!

    I’ll take a full plus synopsis with spoilers sent as an attachment to

  2. Please send along the full synopsis and 25 pages to with Fall Fiction Fest in the subject line! -Laurel Symonds

  3. Yum! Please send synopsis & first three chapters to jerrera(at)janerotrosen(dot)com and mention "Fall Fest" in your subject line

  4. Sounds delicious!Please send me your pitch plus the full manuscript to with "Fall Fiction Fest" and the title of your book in the subject line. Thanks!.