Friday, January 9, 2015

CBB Promotions Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: Meet Your Baker (Ellie Alexander)

Welcome to my blog tour stop for Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander. This is a cozy mystery that released December 30th.

Be sure to check out the schedule for the list of reviews, interviews and guest posts by the author! The tour starts January 5th and runs through the 16th.

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…
After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

"Sure to satisfy both dedicated foodies and ardent mystery lovers alike."
―Jessie Crockett, author of Drizzled with Death
The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…
"Alexander weaves a tasty tale of deceit, family ties, delicious pastries, and murder.” ―Edith Maxwell, author of A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die 

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.


What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

My family. I often say that Meet Your Baker is the perfect culmination of my childhood. My mom was an avid baker and mystery lover. She introduced me to cozy mysteries and taught me everything I know about baking. There was never anything boxed or packaged at our house—from homemade jam with berries we picked ourselves to fresh bread with dinner, she handcrafted every meal. My dad taught English and is a Shakespeare aficionado. He introduced me to sonnets and spent his weekends whipping up tortes and cheesecakes. Meet Your Baker features the quaint town of Ashland, Oregon home to the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is centered around a family bakeshop—Torte. 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

That’s so hard! I know it sounds cliché but I love them all. If I have to pick one, I’ve got to go with Jules. Juliet Montague Capshaw, the book’s heroine, has just returned home to Ashland after spending the last decade working as a pastry chef on a cruise ship. She’s come to mend a broken heart, but she’s not broken. Growing up in the idyllic Shakespearean town with a name like Juliet may have influenced her romantic tendencies, but she’s strong and she knows that ultimately she’s going to be okay. I love that. It’s fun to write a character who can be vulnerable and completely capable at the same time. I also like weaving in a bit of romance. I mean with Shakespeare how can I not? 

Which came first, the title or the novel?

The title! As I mentioned I’ve been a huge fan of culinary mysteries for years. I had this idea running through my head about writing one centered in Ashland because it’s one of my favorite places to visit. One day I was standing in the kitchen thinking about titles. I grabbed a knife from the counter and held it up as if I was going to stab someone with it. I said aloud, “Meet Your Maker!” Then I made a stabbing motion in the air as I thought about what words rhymed with maker. Baker! That was it. Meet Your Baker! From there the story really came together. 

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

There’s a scene about three quarters of the way into the book with Jules and Mom in the kitchen that I really love. They’ve both been hiding something from each other. Not out of malice, but because they care so much about each other that they’re trying to protect one another—and ultimately themselves. They finally get to a point where they both come clean. It’s a moment of authenticity and reconnection for them. As a writer it’s such a rich scene for me, and it’s a turning point for them. I like getting to explore how we deepen our relationships when we reveal our flaws and secrets. 

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

How much time do we have? Honestly I think I’m constantly learning as a writer. I hope that never changes. That’s probably the most important thing that I’ve learned—to keep learning. Over the years I’ve learned so much from friends, family, other authors, editors, readers, and even characters! I like stretching myself, and I’ve found that while I write in isolation, it’s only with the help of many other people that my writing ever becomes a fully realized book. And on a more practical note, I’ve learned to always have mint chocolate M&M’s around when I’m on deadline.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I think I squealed with delight the first time I saw the cover. I couldn’t believe it. The artist who designed the cover brought the vision that I’d created entirely in my head to life. I have a ten-year-old son. He makes it his mission to find the thing that’s off or the murder weapon in culinary cozies. He’s a big fan of the cracked skull on the pastry case.

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

Do I have to pick one? It’s too hard. Many of my favorite authors are releasing new installments in their mystery series in 2015, as are some of my local author friends. If I list them all here this will be pages long, and if I accidentally forget someone I’ll feel terrible. So I know this is lame, but I’ll say I’m looking forward to too many to count. Lame. But true!

What was your favorite book in 2014?

Same question as above. I read so many good books this year. I don’t want to have to choose anything in the mystery genre because there were literally too many great releases and so many of my favorite authors added to their already prolific series this year. I read a lot of non-fiction when I’m working on a manuscript, so I’ll go with Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. I’ve read all of his books, and I’m every time I’m astounded at how he can make seemingly mundane or complicated things so fascinating. Plus he’s just so funny.

What’s up next for you?

A Batter of Life and Death, the second book in the Bakeshop Mystery Series comes out in June of 2015. I’m working on the third book right now, and I have some exciting new things in store for Jules and the entire team at Torte, as well as some delectable new recipes.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Thanks so much for having me! Happy reading and baking in the New Year!

2 winners will get a paperback copy of Meet Your Baker, Chai Tea, designer baking liners and a Starbucks gift card.
Open to US addresses only.
Ends Jan. 21, 2015

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


  1. I really like what I have read about this one so far!!

  2. this looks and sounds fun!!! thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you so much for hosting a tour stop and doing the interview!

  4. What a great interview. The book looks good, I like the Oregon settting and how she will tie in the Shakespeare Festival too. Thanks!

  5. The titles of the first and second book crack me up. Mint M&Ms and a love of baking and Shakespeare? I need to befriend this author. :D