Sunday, March 11, 2018

Welcome guest author Ellie Alexander! + book #giveaway


She's offering a giveaway below! Take it away, Ellie!

Thanks for having me on as a guest again. Spring is the season of romance and in the next installment of my Bakeshop Mysteries, TILL DEATH DO US TART, (which comes out June 26) love is in the air. No spoilers, but wedding bells are ringing, and Torte (the popular, artisan bakeshop in Ashland, Oregon) is buzzing with excitement. Jules and her team are carefully crafting magnificent almond tarts with layers of silky French buttercream and fresh raspberry preserves. They’re making dainty chocolate hazelnut tea-cakes, and filling dozens upon dozens of mini cream pies. It’s a blur of baking madness in Torte’s cheery kitchen as the wedding nears.


When I was working on this book I had so much fun—perhaps too much fun—researching new and inventive ideas for weddings. One modern tradition that I stumbled upon was creating a kid zone for younger wedding guests. This includes a buffet table with kid-friendly foods like carrots sticks with ranch dip and cheeseburger sliders and French fries, along with party favors like bubbles and glow wands. I love the thought of incorporating little touches and making kids feel like they’re a special part of the event. Isn’t that the goal of a wedding? Bringing friends, family, and generations together in a celebration of love.

Speaking of love, I fell in love with the idea of surprise cupcakes as a dessert option for a kids’ buffet. Of course, you don’t need to host a wedding or even a party to make these delightful and delicious treats. They are great anytime, and I guarantee that adults will devour them just as quickly as any youngsters in your life.

Happy baking!

Ellie

About TILL DEATH DO US TART:
Torte―the small-town bakeshop no one can resist―is hosting a midsummer night’s wedding . . . where merry-making and murder are served up in equal measure.

Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate―and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos. And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious.

But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.

Torte’s Surprise Cupcakes
Ingredients:
½ cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons vinegar


 
For surprise filling:

Sprinkles

Mini chocolate chips

Lemon curd

Raspberry or strawberry jam

Nuts

Mini candies

Directions:

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together. Add in vanilla and almond extracts. Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk. Fold in baking soda and vinegar last. Bake in cupcake tins at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes. Allow to cool. Once completely cool, cut a half-inch hole in the center of the cupcake. Do not discard the cupcake holes. Fill cupcakes with your choice of surprises—get creative. Gently press the cutout portion of the cupcake into the hole and then cover with frosting.



 
Frosting

Ingredients:


1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons flour

1 cup water

Directions:

Heat flour and water in a saucepan on medium high. Be sure to continually whisk the mixture as it begins to thicken. Once the paste is opaque, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer. Add in cooled flour and water paste and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.






GIVEAWAY

I'd love to give away a copy of ANOTHER ONE BITES THE CRUST to one commenter. Tell me,
have you ever attended a wedding where there were lots of children? What did the wedding planner do to wrangle them? Remember to leave your email (cryptically if necessary) so I can contact you.



Ellie Alexander (also known as Kate Dyer-Seeley) is a Pacific Northwest native. Her love for the Pacific Northwest runs deep. Hence why all of her books (whether she’s writing as Ellie or Kate) are set here. From the Shakespearean hamlet of Ashland, Oregon to the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington to the hipster mecca of Portland, Oregon and a variety of stunning outdoor locales, the Pacific Northwest is a backdrop for every book and almost becomes another character in each series.

When not writing, you can find her testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouse or brewpubs nearby. You’ll also find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of “research”.




Ellie (Kate) loves hearing from readers and interacting on social media. Be sure to follow her to learn about her writing process, upcoming books, special events, giveaways, and more!

Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Instagram
Web: www.elliealexander.co







60 comments:

  1. most weddings I have been to did not have that many children, they did not run around wild; thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Once, and there wasn't a wedding planner to handle them. A good friend of mine, who isn't fond of children, had to handle some of them. I was amused, but he wasn't.
    browninggloria at hotmail

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can't say that I have been to a wedding with many children. Most children were either a part of the wedding party or of the couple getting married. kkdaley at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  4. If the people writing Cozies at the moment, you are in my top three. That is saying quite a lot. I think you are one of the best. I’ve read all of your books and I have preordered the next one. Thank you fir the pleasure you give.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! That makes my day, Sue.

      Delete
  5. Welcome, Ellie! Love the super fun cupcake recipe; and thankfully no, I've never been to a wedding with tons of children. Last time that happened? I was a child, a flower girl in the wedding; and ask anyone who knows me - I've always behaved like an adult, even as a young kid, hahaha. EMS591@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too funny! So refined even at a young age. My son is the same way.

      Delete
  6. This is a great recipe for any time...such as special occasion. the weddings I have attended usually offer various small toys, hats, noise makers etc to help keep the kids occupied. And of course, candy! dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can never go wrong with candy ������

      Delete
  7. My younger brother’s second marriage was a casual beach theme in their backyard. They had a separate table for the kids with craft stuff to keep them occupied. Plus there was plenty of room for the kids to run around.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    ReplyDelete
  8. My own kids were at my last wedding. Ages 3 to 13 and some cousins. We had kid friendly foods, kid friendly "champagne" glasses and songs that they could sing and dance too. It was a lot of fun and they were very well behaved. Wjcline@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's been a while since I have been at a wedding, but when I have there was a whole lot of children & parents seem to be able to keep them busy. Love your books & Thanks for your generosity. lindamay4852@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keeping them busy seems to be the key! Thanks for the kind words about the series. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it.

      Delete
  10. I have been to weddings with children. They are usually things for the kids to do so they don't get bored with the adult things. Coloring books and a kids corner with toys and games. Those are the best weddings to attend because everyone is happy. Josteioff@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Redo with updated numbers (I checked my cousin's lists).

    I have four grown children and ten grands. My cousins' between them have at least 15 grown children with 30 or more grands and about 10 great grands. That's just the immediate family. A wedding in this family starts with over fifty people then add the extended family and guests we're almost 200 just before inviting people who "have" to be there. Now you get to the bride or groom's family and we're talking weddings of four hundred. Oh, we are most definitely talking about an Orthodox Jewish Wedding. Kids have to be there... Kids are always running around, socializing and enjoying the show.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nora, that sounds like a huge and lively event whenever you get the whole clan together!

      Delete
  13. I have been to a lot of weddings and there was always kids there. My kids have been the ring bearer and flower girl for many of them. I think kids add to it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We are planning my daughter’s wedding now for September 2019 and she has already decided no kids. This may be sticky because the groom has a large family. But considering we are trying to keep costs down and still accommodate a guest list of 150, kids are definitely out. Kuzlin (at) aol (dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s a big guest list. Have fun with the wedding planning!

      Delete
  15. Oh! I had no idea you were Kate Dyer Seeley! I love those books. I have not read any of the Ellie Alexander books, but had I known you were Kate, well, I will have to check these out. Yews, I have attended weddings with children. Mostly wedding planners attempts to contain them have been for naught. Kids want to be with the action-and that has included following the bridal party down the aisle screaming "mommy!" stclairck@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The secret is out ;-) That is such a great visual of a little one following their mommy down the aisle and perhaps the bride’s worst nightmare.

      Delete
  16. I've never attended a wedding where anything special was done for the younger members but it sounds like a great idea. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. We had a bunch of youngsters at our wedding, they didn't run wild, we included them in stuff and even a photograph with us
    Sjgolding@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've not been to many weddings with lots of children, but it seems like it was more common years ago when there weren't wedding planners involved. You know, punch and cake receptions where the kids are cake them ran off the sugar high outside the church while adults chatted. Thanks for the chance to win. Dmskrug3 at hotmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. My son's wedding had children who were well behaved. Cousins who enjoyed the celebration. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. We had all members in a family at our wedding. The children loved the music and the fact there was cake was even better. It's what made our special day even more joyful. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There’s nothing better than kids dancing at a wedding!

      Delete
  21. Have been to a few family weddings with lots of kids. No wedding planner just parentswho kept track. Kids like the dancing and music.Candykennedy45@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I haven't been to a wedding with many children at the event. And those parents who brought children wrangled the kids themselves though those of us around them tried to help keep the little ones entertained, too.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh.how I would love yo have your new book. I love your series it is awesome. I am not planning a wedding. But we will be having our 50 wedding anniversary in July. But I would very much love to win your book. You have a awesome Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 50 years! Congratulations! What a feat. Cheers to you!

      Delete
  24. I can't see anything in the ingredients that explains the multi-colored bits in the cupcake batter.
    Very cure idea.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  25. I haven't been to many weddings that had an actual wedding planner instead of a member of the family helping out. There were never a lot of children, but there was always an older teenager that wrangled them in and kept them entertained.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love the idea of a surprise in the cupcake. This from a Hostess cupcake addict when a child. There weren't many kids at the last wedding I attended. In fact maybe only a ringbearer who was whisked away to a friend's house after the ceremony.

    ReplyDelete
  27. only been to a few weddings and none had planners. the older children would take care of the younger ones
    greeneyes2755@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Kids just joined in dancing at our family weddings, There was an adult who would talk the children outside to run some energy off.
    worwichistory101@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. My Mom recently got remarried, and planned the whole wedding. She loves kids, and made sure that each young one in attendance received an activity bag with a toy, a book and a game inside. They could be found throughout the night (when not dancing) at tables trading items and helping each other with the colouring books. zannova.in.ink@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've never attended a wedding with more than one or two children. The ones I remember behaved very well. lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have not attended a wedding where there were lots of children. catwoman-1@Comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have never been to a wedding where there were a lot of children. The only children present were in the bridal party.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I've only been to one wedding with a lot of kids as guests. It was a very casual backyard wedding, so the kids & adults ran wild.
    turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. TILL DEATH DO US TART" sounds like it's going to be an amazing book and one that I'd love to get my hands on. Love the recipe and can't wait to try it on the little ones and the big ones that are young at heart. :)

    I've not attended that many weddings and most seem to want to eliminate the little ones which I think is such a shame. I will have to say that "some" kids haven't been taught manners and how to behave. Plus lot of adults don't taking in to consideration children and their attention span and planning ahead for it. Think the idea of having kid friendly areas totally awesome. At our wedding, almost 35 years ago, we did include nieces and nephews were from newborn to 10 years old and with a little planning and cooperation of the adults, it all worked out great. Treasured memories to have everyone included.

    Thank you for the amazing chance to win a copy of "ANOTHER ONE BITES THE CRUST" - another great book that I've not had to opportunity to read but not for lack of desire.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    ReplyDelete
  35. Luckily I have been to very few weddings. At those there really were not many children. I think adults would like these cupcakes too. The surprise could be something that beckons to the wedding itself. Thanks for stopping by. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  36. I was at a wedding where the children had their own amusement person who gathered them together and with a puppet read to the children, danced with the children and had a table for them to eat at.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I can't remember a wedding with a lot of kids and I can't remember one with a wedding planner either.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. it depends on what you mean by a lot? A friend of my oldest daughter had a huge wedding for her secondand lasting marriage. It was hot, muggy, and on the Chesapeake bay...mosquitos were terrible..the bride had children from her first marriage,and the groom from his. Two of my grandchildren were there also...the air conditioning was not working in our $200 a night hotel ( this was in late nineties)..I was asked to come along and did not realise until I arrived that I was to be child minder. But I found children’s books and begged the hotel staff for odds and ens to make crafts and cards...told them it was the least they could do since we had to suffer through hundred degree heat and humidity without air conditioning. When first asked, they came back with a reply that didn’t not set well with me...lol. So I said...well really they are not my problem...they can scream, run play loudly...were all checked in...and I can’t let them outside in this heat....it worked! At least someone managed to have portable air conditioners and fans for the big white tent where we had...I kid you not..filet mingon for 200+ people....that is what happens when you have a rich daddy! Lol. We did ok. When my younger daughter married, we knew ahead of time how many children would be present and planned accordingly!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Two years ago I went to a wedding with quite a few children. The bride had several tavlws set up with crafts she also gave them all a disposable camera and gave them a type of scavenger hunt of different pictures she wanted tgem to take. She told them they were her photographers. She actually got a lot of awesime pictures that she normally wouldn't have gotten. Thank you for the chance. Lamonicaks(at)gnail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I was at a relative's wedding and there were LOTS of kids! There was a special area for the kids with their own buffet of kids finger food and then a candy table..the kids had a blast and they even had their own cordoned off "dance floor"! It was very well done!!! Blessedfllady62@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I haven't been to a wedding w/ a lot of kids there. At my wedding, I provided a nursery at the church, along w/ caregivers, so that no kids would disturb things. The book sounds great and so does the recipe. legallyblonde1961 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. At my cousin's outdoor wedding, a game/play area was set up for the children.

    jycgc at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I haven't been to any weddings where there were anymore than a couple of kids. I really don't remember what they did except have the parents keep an eye on them and keep them quite. There was nothing special set up for them.
    My brother in law got married when my daughter was 6 months and my sister in law got married when my daughter was 9 months. My mom drove out from NY to MA to watch my daughter (in a room at the venue) for both weddings as no babies were allowed and I was still nursing. When it was time for my daughter to nurse, I'd leave to go to the room my mom was in and feed my daughter. This was for both weddings. I wouldn't have bothered going to either wedding but I was required to by my mother in law. She didn't approve of breastfeeding so she wanted to make it difficult for me.
    scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  44. The winner of this giveaway is Caryn (St....) Ellie will be in touch. Congrats and thanks to all for chiming in! ~ Daryl

    ReplyDelete