Crust No One by Winnie Archer #BlogTour with #Giveaway

Crust No One
A Bread Shop Mystery #2
by Winnie Archer
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Business is booming at Yeast of Eden. But with a deadly mystery taking over the seaside town of Santa Sofia, the Mexican bread shop can’t possibly leaven a killer’s appetite . . .
For once, Ivy Culpepper feels fulfilled. An apprenticeship at Yeast of Eden has opened her world to time-honored baking techniques under owner Olaya Solis’s guidance—as well as the freshest small-town gossip, courtesy of chatty regulars known as the Blackbird Ladies. Ivy even begins accepting that she and restaurateur Miguel Baptista may never again rekindle their romance—despite the undeniable tension between them . . .
But she’s tied to Miguel again when his trusted produce supplier goes missing. Old Hank Riviera’s financial troubles would make anyone consider running away forever. And with his relationship woes, there are plenty of people who might want to see Hank disappear. As Ivy, with the help of her octogenarian sidekick, turns to the loose-lipped Blackbird Ladies for leads, she soon finds herself caught in a web of lies stickier than a batch of Olaya’s popular pastries . . .
My mother left an indelible mark on me, as all mothers do on their children. I grew up loving walks
on the beach, collecting seashells, and reading mystery novels (Agatha, my sweet fawn pug, was named
after the grande dame of mystery, after all). She also gave me my love of photography by gifting me with
my first camera and sending me out for the afternoon.
I took pictures of everything I saw. That was that. My fate was sealed, for better or for worse.
The one thing she did not impart on me was her cooking ability. She had had finesse in the kitchen,
and she worked to the very end to get better and widen her skills, but I’d always been too busy to
spend much time baking and creating stews and casseroles and things in Dutch ovens. That all
changed after she died. The kitchen was the very place I found the most solace. I hadn’t known it
would be like that, but Olaya Solis, before I’d ever formally met her, had me all figured out. She’d
become a surrogate mother to me, but no one could replace the real thing. I saw my mother everywhere
and in everything. Most of all, at the ocean.
Now, as I parked my mom’s car—my car—in the Baptista’s parking lot, it was the beach that called to
me. I slung my camera bag over my shoulder and started toward the restaurant, but abruptly stopped
and redirected my footsteps toward the pier and the wooden steps that led down to the sand. The day was
cool, a brisk breeze blowing in from the water. A few people strolled along the shoreline, walking
their dogs or playing with children in the surf. I did none of those things. My feet seemed to direct themselves;
I ended up at a cluster of rocks and perched on the edge of the flat bolder that sat in front of the
formation. I tilted my head back against the cool breeze and let my eyes flutter closed. This spot on
the beach had been one of my mom’s favorite places in Santa Sofia. Maybe in the world. At this moment,
it almost felt as if she were here with me.
A mist of water kissed my cheeks and a shiver passed through me. The breeze seemed to call my
name. I smiled to myself. Maybe she actually was. I grabbed my camera from my bag, walked along the
shoreline, and took a few shots of the pier to capture the moment: the rocks off in the distance, the
breaking waves, the seaweed strewn on the waterpacked  sand.
The light wind carried my name across the surf.
I turned toward the restaurant. It wasn’t the wind calling my name. It was Miguel. He stood on the pier
and waved.
I took a deep breath before turning my back on the ocean, letting the loss of my mother fade to a warm memory. I trudged up the beach toward the pier.
Miguel watched me, leaning in to give me a kiss on my cheek when I finally reached him. A shiver of—something—went down my spine. Which is not what I wanted to feel. I wasn’t in high school anymore,
after all, but Miguel still seemed able to coax a schoolgirl quiver out of me.

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century-old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. 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.
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