Friday, September 11, 2020

Dough or Die - An Interview, Review, & Giveaway

 I'm pleased to welcome Winnie Archer to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Winnie writes the Bread Shop Mystery series. DOUGH OR DIE is the fifth book in the series and was released last month.

Kathy: Yeast of Eden is known for its wonderful breads. Do you bake your own bread? If so, what's your favorite bread to make?

WA: Yeast of Eden is my dream bakery. I love bread. The crazy thing is, that I eat gluten free. Two of my kids have Celiac and my daughter and I are intolerant, so we have eaten gluten free for a long time. I do make the recipes in each book, but gluten free. Once in a while, I’ll have a friend make a recipe to make sure how it works. In the upcoming book, one of the recipes is from a travel blogger. She was gracious and allowed the recipe to be put in the back of the book.

As for a favorite, hmmm. I love a simple baguette, which I make frequently. I love sweet breads, too, and one of my favorite breads is Babka, which is featured in a previous book. I love the chocolate, the crumbly topping, and the way it is like a jelly roll, rolled up with the chocolate in between. So yummy!

Kathy: What's your favorite bread to eat?

WA: I make what is called sausage bread a lot. It is a family tradition that I usually serve with Potato Cheese Soup. I make a French bread dough, roll it out, then spread cooked crumbled breakfast sausage over it. I roll it up like a jelly roll, let it go through another rise before brushing with an egg wash and baking. If I had to choose a favorite bread, this would be it.

Kathy: In DOUGH OR DIE a cable TV show has decided to feature the bakery as a culinary delight. Do you enjoy watching such shows? Do you have a favorite?

WA: I do love to watch cooking shows! The Great British Baking Show is a favorite. I also love the Spring and Holiday baking challenge shows.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

WA: My early reading included Nancy Drew. I graduated to Agatha Christie books in high school. When I first decided to write, I gravitated to mysteries because it’s my favorite genre to read. That first series is the Lola Cruz mysteries, a Latina PI caper series. From there, when I wanted to start a new series, my first thought was to create a cozy mystery series. I love creating quirky and relatable characters. I love exploring female relationships such as mothers and daughters, best friends, and grandmothers and aunts. These interests of mine fit well with the cozy mystery genre. I also am a small town girl, so creating fictitious small towns really appeals to me. My first cozy series was the Magical Dressmaking mystery series, next the Bread Shop mysteries, and next month the brand new Book Magic mystery series begins with Murder in Devil’s Cove.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

WA: I have written two romantic suspense mysteries, as well as a light paranormal romance. I love all three of these books! The romantic suspense mysteries center around two Mexican legends (la Llorona and chupacabra). SILENT OBESEEION, SILENT ECHOES, and STORIEBOOK CHARM are the titles.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

WA: I’m happy to! I’ll start with the Lola Cruz mysteries. Lola is a novice PI in Sacramento, has a strong connection to her family, and is rekindling a romance with her high school crush, Jack Callaghan. It’s a fun caper series with some romantic elements.

The Magical Dressmaking mysteries feature Harlow Cassidy. She is a descendant of Butch Cassidy (based on my alternate reality). She inherits her grandmother’s house in Bliss, Texas (Loretta Mae hangs around as a ghost and helps Harlow once in a while). Harlow opens a dressmaking shop where she makes people their perfect clothes, and of course, murder happens!

The Bread Shop mysteries, of which Dough or Die is the 5th book, stars Ivy Culpepper. She meets Olaya Solis, owner of Yeast of Eden, and falls in love with baking bread. Penelope Branford, her octogenarian neighbor is her sidekick in crime solving and Miguel Baptista is Ivy’s high school boyfriend and they’re rekindling their relationship. There’s bread in every book…and murder!

Finally, I have MURDER IN DEVIL'S COVE, the first Book Magic mystery, coming out on September 22nd. I love this new series, which features Pippin Lane Hawthorne—a bibliomancer. It takes place on the fictional island of Devil’s Cove in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Like my other series, murder happens!

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

WA: I don’t think I can pick a favorite of my heroines. They each embody elements of myself, and they each represent qualities I value and admire and aspire to. I love them all!

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

WA: I love baking and bread, so creating the Bread Shop mysteries was completely natural. My continued inspiration comes from wanting to explore more bread recipes, and I also want to continue to see Ivy’s relationships develop. That inspires me.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

WA: When I first started writing, I felt like I had a story to tell and I wanted to share that story. Every time I get an email from a reader, or a wonderful review, I feel amazed because the stories I love to tell have resonated with another person in the world. That is the best feeling.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

WA: Oh my gosh, what a difficult question! I think I’d start with Agatha Christie. I’d probably want to chat with JK Rowling. I do love Harry Potter! I have loved Liane Moriarty books in the last few years, so I think it would be fun to have her at a dinner party. And I would wrap up the party by inviting Jane Austen. Female power!

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

WA: I’m just finished CIRCE, by Madeline Miller, and I’m getting ready to read BEACHES, BUNGALOWS, AND BURGLARIES by Tonya Kappes (this book is the book club selection for my Facebook book club, The Book Warriors—

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

WA: I love to bake and cook, I recently completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training and am teaching yoga once a week, socially distanced, I do art—not very well, but I try and enjoy it, and I walk and am hiking more and more.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

WA: 1. Soy sauce

2. Chocolate chips

3. Frozen blueberries (picked from our local blueberry farm)

4. Cheese—not always the same type, but there is always cheese!

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

WA: Oh yes! MURDER GONE A-RYE comes out early in 2021. I’m currently writing book 7, which is a holiday book. I’m so excited about it! We haven’t firmed up the title yet, but it’ll be out in October of 2021.

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

WA: There are so many great things about being an author! I love being able to be with my dogs all day (I have a pug, Bean, and a chug, Dobby). I get to spend my days with the fictional friends I’ve created and live in their worlds. And I get to break up my days by baking and making other recipes that I feature in my books. Writing is my passion, so I’m very fortunate to be able to do what I love. 



DOUGH OR DIE by Winnie Archer
The Fifth Bread Shop Mystery
Reality TV hits Santa Sofia when Yeast of Eden is chosen to be the first bakery showcased in the new series, America's Best Bakeries. Ivy Culpepper is thrilled that her mentor, Olaya Solis, will get recognition, not only for her special artisan breads, but her community involvement and her Bread for Life program. Although Ivy notices the diva behavior of one of the hosts creating some tension, everything seems to be running smoothly. Things come to a screeching halt, however, when the cameraman, on break outside the bakery is involved in a hit and run. Did he have an enemy or is someone out to destroy the show before it even begins?

In the fifth Bread Shop mystery there is an attempted murder, a stalking, and an actual murder. But are they related? They must be, but how? Before Ivy even thinks to look into the cameraman's "accident" she is pursued by an unknown SUV. Could she have seen something she didn't realize? I liked how Ivy slowly began looking into the accident, trying to make connections where there seem to be none. I also appreciate the subtle manner in which clues are discovered. 

DOUGH OR DIE brings a love of baking and community involvement to the forefront. Societal issues such as domestic violence are brought to light in an open and honest manner and cultural diversity is embraced.

It may be a murder mystery, but DOUGH OR DIE is a feel good novel that intelligently looks at today's society. It's also a complex mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed, even though it left me craving a loaf of Olaya's rosemary bread.

Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery) by Winnie Archer

About Dough or Die

Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery)  

Cozy Mystery 5th in Series  

Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020) 

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages

Known for its mouthwatering traditional breads, the Yeast of Eden bakery has gained fame across Northern California’s coast. Now the shop is bound for Reality TV—but a murder may kill its reputation . . .

People come to the beach town of Santa Sofia as much for the healing properties of Yeast of Eden’s breads as for a vacation getaway. And now a cable food channel has selected the bakery as a featured culinary delight for a new show. Baking apprentice Ivy Culpepper is excited as the crew arrives, ready to capture all the ins and outs of the renowned bread shop. But instead they capture something much harder to stomach: the attempted murdered of the show’s cameraman just outside Yeast of Eden . . .

With no motive and no clues, and the town craving answers, it will be up to Ivy to sift through the evidence to find the truth. But she’ll have to move quickly before someone else is targeted or the wrong person gets the heat—and the business collapses like a deflated soufflé, right before her eyes.


About Winnie Archer

Winnie Archer
is a middle school teacher by day and by night she's the author of the Bread Shop Mystery series. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can't believe she's lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at Website .

Author Links: 




Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo 


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  1. This book look like fantastic read. It looks and sounds interesting, mysterious and very intriguing. Would love to read and review the print copy of this book. Love books like this.
    Thanks for chance to win.
    Would love to know how you choose your plots?

  2. I love the smell of fresh baked bread. This sounds like another interesting cozy. Thanks for this opportunity.

  3. Making bread is just the best and then eating it oh my gosh. I love to read and review print books. peggy clayton