Friday, July 7, 2017



Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash . . .

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary .

“A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!” ―Fresh Fiction

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

“A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.” ―Library Journal


Things you love about writing:
Finishing a book. I love writing the words, “The end” it’s such a sense of accomplishment. I enjoy the finality of seeing a project from start to finish. Whenever I finish a book I do a little happy dance around my office.
Things you hate about writing:
As much as I love finishing a book, I also hate finishing it. I get so attached to the characters and storyline that when I write the words, “The end” I find myself slightly nostalgic, too. 

Things you love about where you live:
I live in the Pacific Northwest which is home to the most stunning outdoor landscapes—the mountains, wide open spaces, lush forests, gushing rivers, alpine lakes, and a very laidback lifestyle.
Things that make you want to move:

The rain. Need I say more? Without the unrelenting rain, we wouldn’t have such green beauty here in the PNW, but after months and months of slogging through drenching rain and gusty winds, I find myself dreaming of tropical beaches and begging for even a glimpse of the sun. 

Words that describe you: Positive, kind, smiling, carefree, creative, thoughtful.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Stubborn, impulsive, quick to judge, impatient.

Favorite foods:

Cilantro, Greek yogurt, tomatoes, hummus, sweet bread, homemade raspberry jam. Not all together of course.
Things that make you want to throw up: 
Sardines, anchovies, basically anything briny and from the sea.

Favorite music:
I listen to a lot of romantic music when I’m writing the Bakeshop Mysteries. I think in part because Juliet (the heroine) is a romantic at heart. I like singer/songwriters. Words matter. I listen to music for the beat and melody, but most importantly for the words. I love lyrics that move me. Some of my favorite singers are Matt Nathanson, Amos Lee, Ron Pope, and Norah Jones.
Music that make your ears bleed:
Heavy metal. One of my good friends is a huge heavy metal fan, and she’s tried to introduce me to a few of her favorite bands. I can’t listen for more than two seconds. It sounds like screaming to me, and definitely makes my ears bleed.

Favorite beverage:
Coffee! Coffee is more than a beverage, it’s a ritual. I always prepare my coffee the night before. From grinding the beans, to clicking the start button on my coffee maker the entire process is a sensory delight. There’s nothing better than a freshly brewed pot of dark coffee with a decadent splash of thick cream to start the morning. Actually, let’s be honest, I’ll drink coffee pretty much anytime of the day.

Something that gives you a pickle face:
Beet juice. It’s a trend here in the Pacific Northwest. I know that beets are healthy, but I can’t do it. Shudder.

Something you’re really good at:
Listening. My mom was a counselor and was an incredible listener. She was an active listener, not just nodding her head, but really paying attention and probing for more information. I inherited the gift from her and am forever grateful. 

Something you’re really bad at:
Video games. I’m a disaster. My thirteen-year-old son is constantly trying to teach me new techniques, but I’m hopeless. I tend to try to move my body instead of the game controller which makes for hilarious fun as I’m thrashing my arms about in every direction except for where they are supposed to be on the controller. 

Something you wish you could do:

Sing. I’m a terrible singer. I think in a past life I must have been a diva on stage because I love music and will sing at every chance I can get. Just not in front of people.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do:
Clean the bathroom. I mean really shouldn’t we all just pretend like we have no idea how to scrub a toilet so that someone else can do it for us?

I think so! Things you always put in your books:

Things you never put in your books:
Sex. Nothing racy or risqué in the cozy mystery genre.

Things to say to an author:
This goes for aspiring writers seeking advice and ties into things not to say below. I always appreciate it when someone asking for input and suggestions on their writing has done their research. Whether that’s having already attended a writer’s conference or workshop, or joined a local critique group, even reading books about the publishing industry and then asking specific questions. It definitely makes me excited to want to connect them with resources I might have because I know they’re taking the craft seriously. 

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book:
This happened to me at an event recently. An aspiring writer marched up to the front of the line and cutoff a reader waiting to get her book signed. She said, “I’m not here because I have any interest in your books or anything that you write. I’m not waiting in line because I’m not getting a book signed, I’m just here today so that you can call your agent and introduce me to him.” Um, nope. I’m always happy to offer advice to aspiring and new writers, but geez be professional. Or at least polite.

Favorite places you’ve been:
New Zealand, Australia, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. 

Places you never want to go to again:
Floating down a river (more like a swamp) in Florida that I found out after the fact was swimming with snakes. OMG! NO!!! Nothing against Florida, of course. I would gladly return to Florida, but not with swimming snakes.

Things that make you happy:

My family, sunsets, spring flowers, hiking, baking, reading, singing, random acts of kindness, the smell of books, the smell of bread, snowy winter days curled up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a crackling fire, rain on hot pavement, sandy beaches, the mountains, coffee, belly laughs. I could go on for pages and pages. 

Things that drive you crazy:
People who don’t abide by the drop off rules in the school parking lot. Seriously, NO left turns, people. No left turns!

Most daring thing you’ve ever done:
Ziplined from the side of a cliff into a pub for a free beer in New Zealand!

Something you chickened out from doing:
Bungee jumping. I made it to the middle of the bridge and had the harness halfway on. Then I made the mistake of looking down and totally chickened out.


Ellie Alexander, author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin's Press), 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.

Connect with Ellie:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram 

Buy the book:
Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble  |  Indiebound