Welcome to the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery) by Winnie Archer. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, guest posts, spotlights, reviews and more!
Known for its mouthwatering traditional breads, the Yeast of Eden bakery has gained fame across Northern California’s coast. Now the shop is bound for Reality TV—but a murder may kill its reputation . . .
Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery)
by Winnie Archer
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Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery)
5th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
People come to the beach town of Santa Sofia as much for the healing properties of Yeast of Eden’s breads as for a vacation getaway. And now a cable food channel has selected the bakery as a featured culinary delight for a new show. Baking apprentice Ivy Culpepper is excited as the crew arrives, ready to capture all the ins and outs of the renowned bread shop. But instead they capture something much harder to stomach: the attempted murdered of the show’s cameraman just outside Yeast of Eden . . .
With no motive and no clues, and the town craving answers, it will be up to Ivy to sift through the evidence to find the truth. But she’ll have to move quickly before someone else is targeted or the wrong person gets the heat—and the business collapses like a deflated soufflé, right before her eyes.
Hi, Winnie! Thank you for sharing a little about yourself with my readers!
I see that you were a middle school teacher. What subject(s) did you teach? I love middle grade books (especially ones I read when I was that age). Do you have any favorite middle grade books or book series?
Hello! Thank you for having me. I love the Bread Shop mystery series, so it’s fun to introduce new readers to it.
I have taught middle school English, on and off, for a long time! I started teaching right out of college, then stopped after my second son was born. Most of my salary at that point went to daycare. That’s when I started dabbling with writing. I needed to keep my brain active!
I went back to teaching once my kids were a bit older and in school themselves. I taught high school in an alternative setting for a few years, also—pregnant teens, gang members, teen parents—but middle school has always been my favorite! I stopped teaching altogether two years ago and have been writing full-time since then. I do miss it!
As for middle grade books, I love Harry Potter, of course. The Witch of Blackbird Pond has always been a favorite, and I tend to love the books I’ve taught: Where the Redfern Grows, Esperanza Rising, Ender’s Game (love!), The Giver. I could go on and on!
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Did someone inspire you to start writing?
I never planned on being a writer. I wanted to be a chef, then a teacher. I started writing just for myself when I was home with my first two children, then throughout the years after the others were born and I was a stay-home mom (I have 5 children; my youngest is a high school senior). When that youngest boy was born marks the year that I started writing with an eye toward publication. I began meeting a friend of mine at a coffee shop on Monday nights. We’d leave our newborn babies and other kids home and we’d take a few hours for ourselves and write. We shared. Wrote some more. From those Monday nights, Lola Cruz was born, and from there, Living the Vida Lola, which became book 1 in a 5 book series.
Why cozy mystery books? Have you ever considered writing books for middle grade kids?
I grew up reading mysteries, beginning with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and graduating to all the Agatha Christie books. I read all through my high school lunch periods! First I created Lola Cruz as a character. Pretty soon she had a family, friends, a workplace, and a boss. When I decided I wanted to write a book and what I would do with Lola, mysteries are the first thing that came to mind. I wrote what I loved, and I’ve never looked back.
After that first series, I had the idea for the Magical Dressmaking Mysteries. They tapped into my love of sewing, Project Runway, and small-town living. Harlow Cassidy (a descendant of Butch Cassidy based on my alternate history) is a great character.
I wrote a few suspense mysteries in between. They are still some of my favorites. They’re based on Mexican legends, but are definitely darker than cozies. From there I turned to the Bread Shop Mysteries. Ivy Culpepper; Santa Sofia, a small coastal California town; Miguel Baptista, her high school boyfriend; Olaya Solis, the owner of Yeast of Eden; and Penelope Branford, Ivy’s 80-something neighbor. These people are so fun to write. I feel like I’m hanging out with friends when I’m working on these books. Dough or Die just came out—number 5 in the series—and there are at least 3 more coming!
Finally, the brand new Book Magic Mysteries, launches in September with Murder in Devil’s Cove. These are a mix of cozies and traditional mysteries. Pippin Lane Hawthorn is named after Peregrin, aka Pippin, from The Lord of the Rings. This series is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
I live and breath mysteries! When I think of how many people I’ve killed over the years…
Okay….I have to ask…what month is TOO soon to start drinking pumpkin spice lattes?
If it were up to me, they’d never go away! No, not really. Summer is too hot. I think September is a good month to start them up, and they should be available through February. Or maybe March. Okay, April.
What do you like to do in your “free” time?
I read, of course! Now that I’m not a short-order cook for my family anymore, I’m enjoying cooking a lot more. I’m experimenting, cooking healthy, and trying new recipes all the time. I knit, and I do art journaling. I’m learning to paint with watercolors!
What inspired you to write the A Bread Shop Mystery series?
I wanted to start a new series and my editor and I brainstormed together and came up with this concept. It was different than doing another regular bakery series. I love baking bread—all baking, really—but there is something very satisfying about the process of making bread. My husband is Mexican-American, so Olaya Solis is a nod to his culture, and the culture of my children. The elements of the series came together quickly, and I love it!
What can you tell us about your latest book?
Olaya Solis is asked to be part of a new reality cooking show—a search for the best bakeries in America. Think Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. At the same time, Ivy and Olaya are running a program through the bread shop called Bread for Life—women from different cultures coming together to share their cultures, bread, and their stories.
These two things intertwine, filming for the show begins, but one of the stars is killed. It’s up to Ivy to sift through the clues and get to the truth!
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Read cozy mysteries!
Actually, yes! I run a Facebook book club, focusing on mysteries, with fellow mystery writer Diane Kelly. It’s a lot of fun, so come join us! We’re always chatting with authors, doing FB Live events, and just chatting about mysteries. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BookWarriors
You can learn more about all my mysteries on my website at melissabourbon.com (I write as both Winnie Archer and Melissa Bourbon).
Thank you so much for having me!
Thanks for sharing with my readers and me! I really enjoyed reading your answers!
About Winnie Archer
Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and by night she’s the author of the Bread Shop Mystery series. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.
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Dough or Die Tour Participants
Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT/ RECIPE
FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
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