Two Ingredient Soda Pop Brownies With Mystery/Thriller Author BV Lawson @bvlawson

Stopping by the blog today is author, journalist, poet and blogger BV Lawson, one of the authors featured in the new book Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing. A three-time Derringer Award finalist and 2012 winner for her short fiction, BV was also honored by the American Independent Writers and Maryland Writers Association for her Scott Drayco series. BV currently lives in Virginia with her husband and enjoys flying above the Chesapeake Bay in a little Cessna.

What is the name of the recipe you included in Bake, Love, Write? Could you tell us a little about it, and why did you choose that recipe?

Played to Death
The recipe I chose is “Two Ingredient Soda Pop Brownies.” It is as simple as it sounds – add a can or bottle of soda to a box of brownie mix, stir, and bake. The protagonist of my Scott Drayco series is a bachelor who is brilliant in every way – except in the kitchen, where he jokes he can “burn water.” One of his favorite beverages is Manhattan Espresso soda, a hard-to-find bittersweet treat manufactured in, well, Manhattan. Put the two together – the soda plus a recipe that’s almost foolproof – and you have a Drayco favorite.

Could you give a short quote of the advice you included in the book?
“When I feel that surge of excitement, I know I’ve hit upon the right idea for a scene….If you’re trusting your gut reaction to what you’re writing (i.e., trusting your body and not listening to the committee in your mind), you’ll do fine.” – Elizabeth George

Use your writerly powers of description to describe your kitchen.
We live in a rental with a penny-pinching landlady, so the result is something I call a “Frankenkitchen.” A hole in the ceiling from a bathroom leak above, the original painted metal cabinets from when the house was built in 1955, and the ever-shifting linoleum all make for some real “character.” A perfect Drayco kitchen.

Tell us about your latest release.
Although I’ve published several Scott Drayco short stories, Played to Death is the first full-length Drayco novel, suitable for fans of PBS and BBC Mysteries: Still suffering nightmares from his last case, former FBI agent-turned crime consultant Scott Drayco considers retiring from crime solving altogether. Then a former client bequeaths Drayco a rundown Opera House in a Virginia seaside town—complete with a body inside, a mysterious “G” carved into the man’s chest. To solve the murder, Drayco must dodge the seductive wife of a town councilman, a wary sheriff, and hostility over coastal development before the tensions explode into more violence and he becomes the next victim.

My website
Facebook page

Buy it on Amazon

Bake, Love, Write
Here are more details on Bake, Love, Write below:
What do most authors have in common, no matter what genre they write? They love desserts. Sweets sustain them through pending deadlines and take the sting out of crushing rejection letters and nasty reviews. They also often celebrate their successes—selling a book, winning a writing award, making a bestseller list, or receiving a fabulous review—with decadent indulgences. And when authors chat with each other, they often talk about their writing and their lives. Recipes. Writing. Relationships. In this cookbook 105 authors not only share their favorite recipes for fabulous cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and more, they also share the best advice they’ve ever received on love and writing.

Learn more about the recipes and authors on:


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  1. Great interview! I love the description of your “frankenkitchen”. I’d love a kitchen with the original 50s cabinets! Looking forward to trying out the delicious soda pop brownies – and I love a good mystery!

  2. This sounds like a great mystery, BV. I’ll check it out. Also, I have to get my hands on a Manhattan Espresso Soda! Thanks, Stacy, for promoting the both books!

  3. Sounds like an interesting recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

  4. Helena, this kitchen has character to spare! Its small size makes these 2-ingredient brownies particularly appropriate – easy recipes are best.

    Kathleen, you can visit the Manhattan Espresso soda website and search by zip code to see if they have any sellers near you (they’re a bit slow on responding, though). Unfortunately, we have to mail order them! I think they’re sold on Amazon, too.

    Melissa, it turned out pretty well. A lot of folks prefer to use diet soda to make them a little “healthier” (although sugar sodas won’t add that much per serving). You will definitely have to cook them longer. Here’s a website that has the diet version:

    Hope you enjoy both BAKE, LOVE, WRITE and PLAYED TO DEATH! (And the brownies!)

Stacy Juba