Tart Words: Writers read. Readers bake. Bakers write.

Tart Words: Writers read. Readers bake. Bakers write.

Welcome! I'm Linda Gordon Hengerer, author of the Beach Tea Shop cozy mystery series, co-editor of the Happy Homicides cozy mystery anthology series, and baker of treats.If you get joy from reading, writing, or baking, join me to learn new skills to take your writing and/or baking to a different level. My happy place is filled with baking supplies, loaded bookshelves, and endless imagination - does this sound like yours, too? Maybe you've thought about writing a book someday, and decided someday was now - if you only knew where to start. You enjoy baking, but not making time-consuming treats that are gobbled up in less time than it took to measure the flour. You're the dictionary picture for "voracious reader," and you enjoy listening to your favorite authors and finding out the inspiration behind their stories. Tart Words is a podcast for all of those interests. I'm inviting some of my author friends to talk about writing, their books, and add a baker's dozen of getting-to-know-you questions in the Show Notes. I talk about writing and baking, and you'll find out more about your favorite author or find a new author to follow. Tart adj 1: agreeably sharp or acid to the taste; noun 1: an open pastry case containing a filling. Our words may occasionally be sharp or salty but are most often sweet. An open pastry case containing a filling suggests endless possibilities, and I hope the Tart Words podcast fills you full of joy and possibility.


October 12, 2022 31 mins

Linda Hengerer talks with Raquel Reyes about writing, Caribbean cooking, and her characters.

Raquel V. Reyes is the author of Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking, the second book in the Caribbean Kitchen Mystery series and available now. Mango, Mambo, and Murder, the first book in the series featuring Cuban-American cooking show star Miriam Quiñones-Smith, has been optioned for film and is now available in paperback.


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da Hengerer talks with Christine DeSmet about her Fudge Shop Mystery Series, Belgian chocolate, writing, and creating recipes.

Christine DeSmet is the author of the Fudge Shop Mystery Series and the novella series, Mischief in Moonstone Mystery Series, both set in Wisconsin. She is a writing coach as well, and spent several years as a Distinguished Faculty Associate in writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Contin...

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September 11, 2021 25 mins

How can television reporter Lily Atwood keep a secret private when she's in the public's eye? Find out in Her Perfect Life.

Hank Phillippi Ryan speaks from personal experience as an investigative reporter about always being on when out in public, exploring standalone books versus series books, and her pandemic-inspired platform for authors, The Back Room.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the USA Today bestselling...

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August 29, 2021 3 mins

How do you make a versatile filling for little rolled sandwiches, tea sandwiches, danish, or to use as a spread?

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August 26, 2021 3 mins

What is a set piece and where can I get one?

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August 24, 2021 16 mins

Linda Hengerer talks with author Barbara Barrett.

To avoid a midlife crisis, Barbara Barrett wrote fiction at night while still employed in human resources for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and two novellas, she turned to the cozy mystery genre, having discovered it years before when pregnant with her first child. She used one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as ...

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August 21, 2021 2 mins

What are the two ingredients for a tasty treat?

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August 21, 2021 2 mins

What do writers need to consider about Setting for their story?

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August 15, 2021 22 mins

What jobs has Hannah Dennison had that inspired cozy mystery series?

British-born, Hannah Dennison originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant, and Hollywood story analyst. Hannah has served on numerous judging committees for Mystery Writers of America and teaches mystery writing workshops for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program no...

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August 15, 2021 3 mins

Sweet cherries and a cherry liqueur-infused custard make a summery dish.

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August 14, 2021 4 mins

What makes the eggy custard climb the sides of the baking dish? Can it be...magic?

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August 8, 2021 14 mins

In this episode, Linda Hengerer talks with Amy Vansant about her two upcoming releases. Find out what "Meat Bingo" is and what it has to do with Pineapple Cruise, and how Pineapple Circus came to have a circus setting.

USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Amy Vansant has written over 20 books, including the fun, thrilling Shee McQueen series, the rollicking, twisty Pineapple Port Mysteries, and th...

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Settle in for a good read, a hot cuppa, and these delicious Russian spice cookies!

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In this episode of Tart Words, Linda Hengerer talks about Dick Francis’s book Trial Run, and how he uses setting to emphasize the story, shows how societal expectations affect actions, and how to build characters for story.   

It was first published in the United States in 1978 by Berkley Books and is now available in ebook editions.  

Description from Amazon:

The last place veteran horseman Randall Drew wanted to go was Moscow. But w...

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August 2, 2021 15 mins

Join me for the first themed Tart Words podcast week. It begins Monday with an encore presentation of Emilya Naymark's episode.  Wednesday's Tart Thoughts are about Trial Run, Dick Francis's novel set mainly in Moscow. End the week on Friday with a recipe for Pryaniki, Russian spice cookies, which are easy and delicious.

Emilya Naymark’s debut novel is “Hide In Place” from Crooked Lane Books. Her short stori...

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Have you seen a jar of Honey for Cheese and wondered whether it would be tasty? Wonder no more.

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July 28, 2021 24 mins

In this episode of Tart Words, Suzanne Fox and Linda Hengerer are discussing Mary Stewart’s book The Ivy Tree and how she uses Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey’s fictional take on a real-life situation, to guide the reader in one direction before taking them somewhere else.   

It was first published in 1961 by Hodder & Stoughton and is now available in ebook editions.  

Description from Amazon:

Whitescar is a beautiful old house and far...

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July 25, 2021 25 mins

In this episode, Linda Hengerer talks with Neil Plakcy about writing, his many writing projects, and his writing process.

Neil S. Plakcy is the author of over fifty gay romance, gay mystery and adventure, and cozy mystery novels. His eclectic work career includes stints in shopping mall construction, web development, and computer game producing. He grew up in suburban Pennsylvania where the golden retriever mysteries are s...

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July 25, 2021 3 mins

How do you make S'mores without a grill? S'mores are the iconic campfire or grilling dessert. Toasted marshmallows are sandwiched with chocolate bars between graham crackers. Does summer get any better than that?

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July 24, 2021 18 mins

In this episode of Tart Words, Suzanne Fox and Linda Hengerer are discussing Mary Stewart’s book Thunder on the Right and how she uses omniscient point of view, how her protagonist differs from her usual protagonist, and why we think this might have been the first book Mary Stewart wrote.

It was first published in 1957 by Hodder & Stoughton and is now available in ebook editions.  

Description from Amazon:

High in the rugged Pyren...

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