Hi Toni Holmes here. I am owner and operator of a gluten-free bakery called Baker’s Treat. I turned my celiac diagnosis into a passion for bringing ”normalness” to people with special diets. Trust me there isn’t a little kid in the world who wouldn’t want a birthday cake on their special day or a donut with sprinkles. So I bring special treats to those with special needs. But these days I’ve also developed into a bit of an amateur sleuth. It all started innocently enough when I opened Baker’s Treat in my home town of Oiltop, Kansas. It seems that opening a gluten-free bakery in the middle of wheat country was a bit out of place. Protests led to murder and my own involvement was initially to save my own skin.
But you want to know what a day in my life is like, so here goes. I get up at 3 a.m., throw on my baker’s uniform, grab a cup of coffee to go, and head out into the cold dark night. There is nothing better than to have the early morning hours to myself with my favorite bands blaring on the sound system while I pull out dough and get things in the proofer, warm up the ovens and start baking.
The thing about being a baker is that weekends are some of the best days to sell so I work Tuesday through Saturday. On Monday’s I try to get out and visit with friends and run errands. This Monday I happened to be visiting my friend Tasha at her place of work-the Red Tile Inn. While I’m worrying over how to Christmas shop on the internet, Tasha’s maid Maria comes running inside white as a ghost. She has found a dead man in one of the rooms.
I call 9-1-1 while Tasha comforts Maria. Soon the police come to investigate and we discover that the room was reserved in my brother Tim’s name and the dead man is Tim’s best friend. With Tim as suspect number one, Grandma Ruth pushes me to figure out who is framing my brother. Meanwhile I’m swamped with Christmas orders and the success or failure of my bakery hangs in the balance.
It’s hard to be all things to all people and I find myself having to choose between saving my brother or saving my business. The bustle of the holidays takes on new meaning as sleep goes by the wayside and I discover that family comes first.
You can read more about Toni in Flourless To Stop Him, the third book in the “Baker’s Treat” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first two books in the series are Gluten for Punishment and Murder Gone-A-Rye.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 22 for the chance to win a print copy of FLOURLESS TO STOP HIM. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.
About the author
Nancy J Parra has been gluten free for six years and it was while posting her gluten-free recipes on Facebook that another author said she ought to write a book set in a gluten free bakery. Nancy did and the “Baker’s Treat” mystery series was born. Nancy also writes the “Perfect Proposal” series for Berkley Prime Crime and the “Candy Coated” Mystery series for Kensington Books. Nancy lives on the West coast with her plucky Bichonpoo known affectionately on line as Little Dog. Visit Nancy at www.nancyjparra.com.