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!

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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

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  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

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  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

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  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.

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  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

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

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  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

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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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    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.

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  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

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  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

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

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  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.

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  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

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

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  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

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    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.

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  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

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  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

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  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

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

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