Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to have Winnie Archer drop by for a visit!
by Winnie Archer
I think the absolute best part about being a writer is knowing that your characters have connected with someone. I get “fan” email (for lack of a better term) fairly consistently relating to the different series I write. Every once in a while, they say something like:
I love your books. Keep writing them! I do want to point out that there is an inconsistency between X and Y, and you really should consider XYZ…
The first time I received such an email, I was taken aback, but then I thought about it. Even if this person was being critical, she had liked my book enough to care. And that was pretty amazing to me–a teacher, a mom, a wife, a daughter… just an ordinary person-turned-writer.
The very best moments are when I receive emails asking when the next book is coming out in one of my series, or telling me that reading one of my books is like being with old friends. I never realized just how much that would mean to me until I received the first such message. I began writing because I had a character (Lola Cruz) that was in my head. I wrote that very first book for me. That was fifteen years ago. Just a few days ago, I opened an email from someone who’d read the three Lola Cruz books. She wondered if/when there would be another one in the series. She just loved Lola! The happy byproduct of my writing was understanding that the books I’d written for myself connected with other people in a way I’d never anticipated.
Lola Cruz; Harlow Cassidy; Ivy Culpepper. These three heroines in my respective series are so alive in my head. Their families; their communities; their friends: they are all part of me. They all come from me. And they resonate with readers, which is truly amazing.
Although I miss the people and the series I’m not currently working on (Lola Cruz and Harlow Cassidy), the deeper I get into Ivy Culpepper and the seaside community of Santa Sofia (the Bread Shop Mysteries), the happier I am. Being in Yeast of Eden with Olaya Solis and Penelope Branford, rekindling romance with Miguel Baptista, and being part of a family again with her father, brother, and old friend, Emmaline Davis…it’s like pot roast. Warm and comforting and…home.
Finding a connection to what you read is incredible. I hope it happens for each of you!
Thank you so much, Winnie, for stopping by today!
Crust No One (A Bread Shop Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (December 26, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B06XZ7TQXR
Business is booming at Yeast of Eden. But with a deadly mystery taking over the seaside town of Santa Sofia, the Mexican bread shop can’t possibly leaven a killer’s appetite . . .
For once, Ivy Culpepper feels fulfilled. An apprenticeship at Yeast of Eden has opened her world to time-honored baking techniques under owner Olaya Solis’s guidance—as well as the freshest small-town gossip, courtesy of chatty regulars known as the Blackbird Ladies. Ivy even begins accepting that she and restaurateur Miguel Baptista may never again rekindle their romance—despite the undeniable tension between them . . .
But she’s tied to Miguel again when his trusted produce supplier goes missing. Old Hank Riviera’s financial troubles would make anyone consider running away forever. And with his relationship woes, there are plenty of people who might want to see Hank disappear. As Ivy, with the help of her octogenarian sidekick, turns to the loose-lipped Blackbird Ladies for leads, she soon finds herself caught in a web of lies stickier than a batch of Olaya’s popular pastries . . .
We return to Santa Sofia for the Winter Wonderland Festival. Ivy is getting set to help Olaya do all the baking but before she can she learns a man has gone missing. Hank Riviera delivers his produce to several local businesses including Miguel Baptista’s family restaurant. Ivy was there to talk about a photography opportunity but that is forgotten as soon as they get the news that Hank has missed deliveries and can’t be found. She and Miguel along with a group of customers from Yeast of Eden, who Ivy lovingly named the Blackbird Ladies, start an investigation to find the missing vendor. Where their investigation leads them surprises everyone.
Ms. Archer has written another fantastic mystery. Ivy grew so much in the first book in this series and she really seems very comfortable now in her life even though the tension between she and Miguel continues. The supporting characters are very well developed too. I felt like I was reconnecting with old friends. The new characters introduced were unique and interesting.
The mystery itself developed and at a nice pace throughout the book. Twists galore took the story in a very unexpected direction. The author does an excellent job of dropping clues like breadcrumbs until we have not one but two “aha” moments. Even Deputy Sheriff Emmaline Davis was surprised.
Winter in Santa Sofia, not quite winter in Wisconsin, but no matter where you live it is the perfect time to visit Yeast of Eden for a tasty treat. Doesn’t that cover just make you crave bread, rolls, and every other doughy product you can think of?
I enjoyed every minute of this story. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this mystery unfolds a little differently than most cozy mysteries. I was engaged from page 1. The real-life moments, Em moving in with Billy, Ivy trying to find more photography work, customers in the bread shop, the baking, all tied into the plot seamlessly. I loved it!
I can’t wait for the next book in this series! The Walking Bread comes out September 25, 2018.
About the Author
The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century-old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. 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. Visit her online at WinnieArcher.com.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”