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I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.Kneaded to Death Published by Kensington on February 28, 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Buy on Amazon • Buy on Barnes & Noble
Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .
Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .
But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!
I’m sure you’ll all agree that life is busy. Sometimes, in fact, I wonder how I keep my head afloat. My mother is always telling me to slow down, relax, don’t take on so much. But I think it’s in my nature to keep busy. As Lucille Ball said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”
I’m that busy person.
I rarely have time to waste, so I multitask expertly. TV time with the kids? I only half pay attention because I’m always writing, or editing, or doing lesson plans (I’m a middle school teacher by day), or doing something else that needs doing.
I’m a mother of five, ages 14-24, a PTA volunteer, a wife, a teacher, an education advocate (but, man, that’s a whole ‘nother story built out of pure passion and necessity), a book clubber (oh, how I love my book club!), and… I could go on. And on.
Considering everything I have going on in my life, I often wonder why I wasn’t satisfied with just my writing. Why do I push myself to never give up? To try harder? To accomplish more?
I think the answers really define who I am, as a person and as a writer. I’m proactive. I’m a doer. If I see a need, I jump in. If I want something, I figure out how to get it. There’s another quote I like, author unknown: “Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.”
Just to clarify, I don’t see success as something finite or concrete. I already feel successful. I set my mind to accomplish certain things, I’ve worked hard, and I’ve reached those goals.
I wanted to write. So I did. Every Monday night when my youngest was but a few weeks old, I went to a coffee shop with a friend and wrote.
I wanted to write a book. A character was born, then her family, then the mystery and premise of the book.
I wanted to have that book published and pursue a new career, although I never had expectations of bestsellerdom. I joined a writing organization, learned to hone my craft, found an agent, then another agent, and voila!, a short 3 years later, the book and series found a home at St. Martin’s Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books.
I wanted to write about two Mexican legends that fascinated me, so I did. Two romantic suspense books were born and they are, to this day, two of my favorites! I also founded and ran two different blogs (and now have one dedicated to teaching called My Classroom Confidential http://myclassroomconfidential.com/ ).
I wanted to venture into cozy mysteries and my bestselling Magical Dressmaking mystery series was created.
I wanted to work with Kensington Publishing, brainstormed, and the Bread Shop mysteries came to life. I’m so excited for Kneaded to Death to be in the hands of readers!
Now, years later, I can say with great pride that I am a national bestselling author. My career has grown in ways I never imagined it would and I’m so proud of my accomplishments. Kneaded to Death is my 13th book! When I think about that, it blows my mind.
I’m so grateful to bloggers and readers for loving to read, for supporting authors, and for continuing to adore cozy mysteries.
Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer is the first book in the fun new Bread Shop Mystery series. Our main character is Ivy Culpepper. She moves back to her hometown following the death of her mother. I found it very easy to relate to Ivy, as my mother passed suddenly in January.
Ivy begins spending time at a Mexican bread shop and signs on to take some classes. After a classmate is found dead in the parking lot, Ivy finds herself wondering what happened and starts sleuthing. Some of her actions may have seemed reckless or over-the-top as she began investigating. However, grief can make you act a bit different than you normally would. Things get even more intense when Ivy realizes that the death of the woman in the parking lot may somehow be related to her mother’s death, meaning her mother’s death was not an accident.
I loved the characters in this book. That’s what really stood out to me. Each time I picked up the book to read, I felt like I was visiting friends. The bread shop sounds like such a wonderful place. Olaya and Mrs. Branford were two of my favorite supporting characters. I’m looking forward to seeing Ivy’s next adventure.
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