The first book in the delicious new Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series from national bestselling author Laura Bradford.
With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow’s hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude’s late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery—a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow.
To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods—and an idea is born: dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business called the Emergency Dessert Squad. When she’s not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart’s killer—before she needs to call a real ambulance for the next victim…
A Peek At the Part Before “Once Upon A Time”
By Laura Bradford
Author of Éclair and Present Danger (An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery)
One of my favorite questions at an author event is where I get my ideas. I guess the reason I enjoy that question so much is because it takes me back to the beginning for each and every book I’ve written.
In some ways, it’s like looking at a baby album for a now fully grown child.
Because this is a blog and I can’t go on all day, I’ll give an abbreviated version of a few of my more interesting book-beginnings.
One idea came while driving my daughters to school. The D.J. on whatever radio station I was listening to that morning, rattled off a few interesting news bites. One was about a decades old letter that was found behind a desk while renovating an old post office (in Pennsylvania, I believe). To this day, I have no idea if there was more to the story than that. All I know is I heard that part and immediately I started wondering what was in the letter…who had sent it…had it been important. By the time I dropped my girls off, that writer part of my brain started answering the questions. And, by the end of the week, I had a book I couldn’t wait to write. Side note here, that same writer part of my brain demanded I write it as a romance—something I tried to ignore. But when every single one of the characters refused to die, I knew I’d better listen.
Another interesting book-beginning came to me in a series of flashes—a decades old secret…a dead teenager everyone assumed was missing…her friends (now adults) knowing the truth but staying silent. After the flashes, the questions started. Who was the victim? Why wouldn’t her friends tell? Why would they let the girl’s family believe she was still alive? Those flashes/questions and the answers I came up with became the fourth book in my Amish Mysteries, Suspendered Sentence.
Every book I’ve written, to date, was born on a cool moment that I remember vividly to this day.
Éclair and Present Danger, the first book in my new Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, is no exception.
You see, one of my daughter’s friends was kind of struggling a little bit. She was trying to find a direction in life and, because I’d been her scout leader for eight years, we have a special connection. I knew she loved to bake and so I started brainstorming ways she could make a living with her talent in the kitchen. And then it hit. She’d mentioned an affection for food trucks and my mind was off and running. When the idea of an emergency dessert squad hit me, I emailed her right away. I was giddy over this idea and while she humored me with a “that’s neat,” I knew it wasn’t speaking to her. Not more than ten minutes later, it dawned on me that I had the makings of a really fun cozy mystery series.
And—voila!—the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries were born.
I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve ever written. They’ve all taken me somewhere new and introduced me to some mighty special people I consider friends (even if they aren’t real). But Éclair and Present Danger? That beginning—heck, that whole experience—can be summed up in nine words…
The. Most. Fun. I’ve. Ever. Had. Writing. A. Book.
About the Author
Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey) is the author of several mystery series and a handful of romance novels. She is a former Agatha Award nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, playing games, and catching up with friends. In addition to the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, Laura writes The Amish Mysteries and The Jenkins & Burns mysteries, as well as The Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).