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!


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
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:


Mini chocolate chips

Lemon curd

Raspberry or strawberry jam


Mini candies


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.



1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons flour

1 cup water


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.


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!

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  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

  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