Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"A Crime of Passion Fruit" by Ellie Alexander

A Crime of Passion Fruit
(A Bakeshop Mystery Book 6)
by Ellie Alexander

A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery Book 6) by Ellie Alexander

A Crime of Passion Fruit is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

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 cafĂ© 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.
Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambĂ©ing 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?

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
"A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!" ~ Fresh Fiction
"A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck." ~ Library Journal
"A Crime of Passion Fruit was a fantastic, fast paced story that had me flying through the pages. Not only was it a compelling mystery that had more twists than waves in the ocean, it was a feel good cozy that made me smile (and shed a few tears). To top it all off, stomach growling recipes that you are going to want to make soon as you close the book!" ~ Lisa Ks Book Reviews
"This book is well plotted and the characters are well developed. The author provides enough background information that each book in this series can be read as a standalone. Ms. Alexander’s descriptions of the cruise ship and sea, and food and beverages available to the passengers are descriptive and vivid [...] I recommend A Crime of Passion Fruit to anyone who enjoys reading well-crafted cozy mysteries." ~ RO G'ma
"I've always enjoyed this series and A Crime of Passion Fruit is an excellent addition to the cozy mystery family. [...] It was interesting to read about the inner workings of the kitchens on the ship and the intriguing mystery made it even more enjoyable." ~ Between the Pages

Guest Post by the Author
An Introduction to the Bakeshop Mysteries
Thanks so much for having me on as a guest today. I’m thrilled to get a chance to introduce readers to the Bakeshop Mysteries. The series is set in Ashland, Oregon, which is a real town in the southernmost corner of Oregon. Ashland is best known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Theater lovers of all kinds visit Ashland during the season (which runs from February through October) to catch a production of Hamlet or The Merry Wives of Windsor under the stars. What makes Ashland even more unique is that the entire town is themed like an old Elizabethan village. Every shop and storefront in the downtown plaza is designed in Tudor style with turrets, wood carvings, and Shakespearean-inspired names like Oberon’s Tavern.
Setting fictional murders in a real location is equally fun and challenging. Every time I visit Ashland, residents like to remind me that their town is quite safe and has not seen a murder in decades. I really enjoy getting to weave in real world details about the inner-workings of a major theater company, touches of life in a small town, and of course, since my protagonist (Jules) is a pastry chef, lots of delectable sweet and savory treats. I spend hours and hours interviewing pastry chefs and hanging out behind the scenes in busy kitchens. I’m definitely someone who has to write what I know. Getting a chance to watch a sous chef cut out dainty hand-pressed cookies or painstakingly pipe buttercream onto a cake really breathes life into the books. Plus, sometimes if I’m lucky I get to taste their magnificent creations.
I also spend a lot of time in my home kitchen testing recipes. Every book in the series includes original recipes. I joke that I’m not sure if I’m going to run out of recipes of ways to kill people off first. Usually I start with a very rough draft of the manuscript, mainly to rough out the plot. Once I have a first draft complete, I let the book marinate so to speak, and I get to work in my kitchen. Actually kneading bread dough, listening to the sound of butter browning on the stove, and soaking in the scent of cinnamon scones baking in the oven helps me layer in the food writing when I go back to the second and third drafts.
In the sixth book, A Crime of Passion Fruit, Jules is taking a brief hiatus from her Shakespeare hometown and returning to the boutique cruise ship where she spent a decade working as a pastry chef. Her life at sea was quite magical. She saw dozens of ports of call and sample cuisine from all over the world while sailing the globe. However, once she returned to Ashland and put down firm roots at her family bakeshop, Torte, she hasn’t looked back. That changes when her estranged husband calls and begs her to come fill in for a week when the ship’s pastry chef leaves in a huff. Jules is initially excited to be back on crystal blue waters and eager to try her hand at new tropical recipes. However, much like in Ashland, she stumbles upon a body floating in the pool and suddenly finds herself immersed in a murder investigation.
I hope you’ll give it a read and test out one of Jules’s summer Caribbean cookies. If nothing else you should have something sweet to accompany your read.
Happy reading and baking!

About the Author
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.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win an Ellie Alexander prize package (US only).