Author Cindy Arora writes about the music inspiring her latest novel, Heartbreak Cake.


While working on Heartbreak Cake, I would often find myself sitting in LA traffic thinking about my characters when a perfect song would come on the radio and give me an idea for a character’s journey.

I love a great movie soundtrack; think Garden State, Pretty in Pink or Saturday Night Fever – all great movies known for their amazing soundtracks.

I haven’t sat down and created a compilation for Heartbreak Cake yet but I do have a list of songs that I would listen to on repeat during my writing process that helped my main character, Indira Aguilar, get to her happily ever after. Some of them are happy, sad, and best of all… hopeful. It’s all part of the process!

Gonna Get Over You” by Sara Bareilles

This song by Sara Bareilles is huge for me. I think it’s such a great song for getting over someone. It’s happy and sad, and best of all, hopeful.

Blue Eyes” by Cary Brothers

This song is a love song that helped create the mood of longing for my character Indira, who was still in love with someone she couldn’t have. He, of course, has big, blue eyes.

Better Be Good to Me” by Tina Turner

Tina Turner just kicks feminist butt. I liked listening to this song to inspire me to give my female characters a little sass, just like Miss Tina herself.

Stay” by Rihanna

What a great song about longing and unrequited love. The first time I heard this song, all I could think about was my characters.

Sparks” by Coldplay

Great song about a blooming romance. It’s one of my favorites for my characters.


Business is sweet for pastry chef Indira Aguilar. Her indie bakery, Cake Pan, is fast becoming the talk of the wedding circuit for its unique take on cakes and homespun creations for the modern bride, garnering national recognition and drawing in celebrity clients. But while her professional life is blossoming, her personal life is crumbling. Indira may have a talent for blending buttercream into bliss, but when it comes to relationships, she’s got a lot to learn. Considering that the love of her life, Josh Oliver, is not only married, but also runs the award-winning pastry department of her fiercest competition, Crystal Cove Resort, Indira puts much more at stake than just her heart when she ends her affair with him. Rumours begin to fly as the small seaside community of Long Beach learns of her secret relationship, and Indira must defend not only her actions, but her wedding business and her reputation while trying to manoeuvre the choppy heartbreak waters of starting over, finding new love, and facing her past. With the support of friends and family, a fondness for butter, and a determined spirit, Indira may just bake her way back to happiness and possibly into the heart of Crystal Cove’s dishy new chef, Noah. But one thing is certain. Where there’s heartbreak, there must be cake.

Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also a mother, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a chick lit author. Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel.


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