Back Home with Juliet Montague Capshaw by Ellie Alexander

A Batter of Life and DeathThe familiar scent of rich espresso and fresh baked bread hit me as I opened the front door to our family bakeshop, Torte. I couldn’t help but smile. Even though I’d been back in Ashland, Oregon, my hometown, for a few months I still loved opening the front door every morning.

All of my best memories growing up took place at Torte. Torte is more than a bakeshop, it’s a gathering place for friends and neighbors. Whether you’ve lived in our charming town for your entire life or are stopping through for a few days to take in a show at the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, at Torte you’re always family.

When my parents started the bakeshop they wanted to create a cheery and welcoming space where they could share their love of baking and our family recipes. I think they succeeded. From the bright red and teal walls, to the chalkboard menu with a rotating Shakespearean quote and the sunny booths lining the front windows, the bakeshop is the perfect combination of both of them. After my dad died, my mom, Helen, kept the busy shop humming with customers and delectable sweets and pastries while I ventured out on my own to see the world. I’m glad that I did because after exploring the globe, I’ve come to understand that there’s no place as special as Ashland.

Being back again had given me new appreciation for my hometown, with one small exception—my name. My parents named me Juliet after Shakespeare’s most romantic heroine. I prefer Jules. It fits and it’s much less pressure.

I’m a romantic at heart, and my heart was in need of some repair. Ashland was the perfect place to let my heart mend. And, while I wasn’t sure what the future held for me, I knew one thing—I was exactly where I wanted to be at this moment.

I also knew that Torte needed a serious influx of dough. Not in the pastry or pie making form. One of our ovens had finally quit on us. Mom hadn’t upgraded the kitchen equipment in years. Torte was in desperate need of a makeover, and that required cash. Lots of cash.

When a Pastry Channel producer came calling, I thought it was almost divine intervention. The popular network was coming to Ashland to film their hit bake-off series Take the Cake and they wanted to shoot at Torte. Not only would being on the show give us some great national exposure but the Pastry Channel offered to pay us for the use of our kitchen—one step closer to shiny new ovens!

What could possibly go wrong, I thought as I swung open Torte’s front door and inhaled the scent of sweet rolls and banana nut bread.

It turns out a lot could go wrong. I would soon come to learn that new ovens were the least of my worries when I discovered one of the Take the Cake contestants buried in buttercream.


You can read more about Jules and the TV show in A Batter of Life and Death, the second book in the “Bakeshop” mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Press. The first book in the series is Meet Your Baker.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on June 29 for the chance to win a print copy of A Batter of Life and Death. 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.

About the author
Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Visit Ellie at www.bakeshopmystery.com.

128 responses to “Back Home with Juliet Montague Capshaw by Ellie Alexander

  1. Dotty Kelley

    Looking forward to reading this one.

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  2. A Batter of Life and Death sounds like a delightful foodie cozy mystery! I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the giveaway.
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. A favorite author and great series, can’t wait.

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  4. I read the first one in this series and enjoyed it looking forward to A Batter of Life and Death. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  5. This sounds like a good book. This is a series I have not read. Thanks for the.chance to win

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  6. Debbie Carnes

    Sounds great, I love foodie cozies

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  7. Jill Lauder

    Thank you very much for the giveaway opportunity!

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  8. Love the title, thanks for the chance 🙂

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  9. I would love to read this book—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

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  10. Peggy Hyndman

    Sounds like a good read. Thank you for this chance to win a copy 🙂

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  11. Jules sounds like a very adventurous young woman. A family owned business is a challenge in itself and this book sounds like a page turner. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of it. robeader53@yahoo.com

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  12. Sounds like a great book – thank you for the chance to win

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  13. Missed the first. Would love to read this one.

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  14. Thanks for the giveaway! The book sounds great!

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  15. Barbara Hackel

    A wonderful topic for a series, and I love the name Torte. I will read this book for sure, but would love to win a copy! Thanks Dru and Ellie for the opportunity to be considered. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Barbara. I’m glad to hear that you like the name Torte. I picked it because my dad makes a delectable Chocolate Hazelnut Torte (the recipe is in the first book).

      Like

  16. Looks like a great cozy mystery.

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  17. Looks like a great series and I would love a copy to start it. Thanks for the offer.

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  18. I admit this is a new to me series, luckily there’s not too many so I can catch up easily, LOL. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and the chance to win this one.

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  19. Brian Frauenknecht

    I have read the first in the series and I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait for this one to come out and would love the chance to win this. Thank you so much Dru!!

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  20. Marilyn Watson

    I would love the chance to read this book it sounds great. Thank you for the giveaway. Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  21. Sounds like a delightful read! Thanks for the opportunity!
    sharonbabyme@yahoo.com

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  22. Love finding new to me authors and series. Thanks for the giveaway. Kuzlin at AOL.com

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  23. Judy Weaver

    I love cozy mysteries!! This one sounds like a great one! Thanks for the chance to win it.

    Like

  24. After reading this I want something fresh from the oven with my morning coffee! Sounds like a good series and a character I will like. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  25. the description is so real – I could smell the bread baking
    Reading this probably won’t be good for my diet – but what the heck.
    thanks for the chance to win a copy

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  26. Susan Slovinsky

    I’ve read the first book the series and am looking forward to reading this one too. What can be better than coffee, baked goods and a mystery?

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  27. Thanks for the giveaway! Sounds great!

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  28. Sounds like a great read.

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  29. sounds like a great book would love to read it

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  30. I want it! A good mystery with hometown ambience and Mom! Love it.

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  31. Those fateful words: What could go wrong?

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  32. Buried in buttercream–what a way to go. sounds like a great story.

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  33. elainehroberson

    Always looking for new series to read. Thanks.

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  34. MaryAnn Forbes

    Batter of Life and Death — would like to read!📖📚
    Thanks.

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  35. A delightful cozy. Thanks.

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  36. I just picked up the first one from the library. Looking forward to reading it.

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  37. I love cozies. Thanks. For the chance to win.

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  38. Abby Fabian

    This book sounds amazing!!!!!! Thanks for the giveaway!!!!!

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  39. I really enjoyed Meet Your Baker. Looking forward to reading Book 2. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  40. I love foodie cozies!

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  41. Barbara Hawk

    Sounds like a series I need to get into immediately! Thanks for the chance!

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  42. Vivian Shane

    I really enjoyed the first one – I’ve been looking forward to the second. I especially enjoyed the locale as I also live in the Pacific Northwest!

    Like

  43. Betty Gracie

    Looks like a “sweet” book.

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  44. Karen Terry

    I love food and mystery.

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  45. Sounds like a wonderful new cozy series I will be adding to my list of to read. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!!

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  46. I’m getting hungry just reading a bit about the Torte. I’d love to read the book.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  47. Christi King

    I loved Meet Your Baker and can’t wait to read A Batter of Life and Death. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  48. Red and teal walls – that sounds adventurous. I would love to see a picture of a room done in those colors. They are both standout colors and I bet they would be stunning together.

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  49. Sounds like a good series. I’ll have to check this one out.

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  50. Love the title and sounds like I need to go and read book 1. Hope to win this one.

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  51. I want to spend time in Torte!

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  52. Sounds de-lish!!!!
    Thanx for the giveaway…..

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  53. Darlene Peterson

    This sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

    Like

  54. Betty Jo English

    Excited to get my hands on The Butter of Life and Death.

    Bettyjo.english@gmail.com

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  55. Wanda downs

    I love to read

    Like

  56. Letty Blanchard

    This sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the chance!

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  57. Kaye Killgore

    I would love to win this one. I got to meet Ellie at LCC and I’m going to the book launch for this book.

    Like

  58. I would love the chance to to enter the giveaway 🙂

    Like

  59. I’ve always wanted to visit the Shakespeare Festival, so I think this would whet my appetite til the long awaited day! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  60. I read the first book, Meet Your Baker and loved it. Can’t wait to read this one.

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  61. If I can’t eat these delights, I can, at least, read about them.

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  62. Lin Casteel-Butler

    Looking forward to reading this book.

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  63. Looking forward to reading this.

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  64. Debby Kimmel

    This sounds like a great read and look forward to reading it 😉 Thanks

    Like

  65. Cynthia E. Blain

    Oh my gosh, this sounds exactly like the kind of cozy that I love. Food, bakery goods, and sleuthing. Definitely want to get this book and begin with this new series. Sounds great. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

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  66. I can”t wait to read this Thanks!

    Like

  67. Love copies. Love baked sweets. How can you go wrong?

    Like

  68. Cozies! Cozies! Cozies

    Like

  69. Wanda downs

    I want this book,yes yes yes

    Like

  70. There really is nothing quite like that moment when you first step into a bakery.

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  71. Terri Crossley

    Thanks for the chance! I love a cozy mystery ! This brings back memories of walking by the bakery first thing in the morning on the way to school and the smell of fresh baked goods!

    Like

  72. Sounds so yummy but no licking the bowl. Two of my favorite things are baking and reading so this book seems to take the cake 🍰📚 Hopi g to win Thanks for the chance

    Like

  73. Great , would like to read more about TORTE.

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  74. Yummy! I’d love to win this book!

    Like

  75. Marilyn Watson

    Wow even the first sentence makes me hungry. This sounds good.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  76. Ohhh pick me!

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  77. I look forward to reading this book.

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  78. peggy clayton

    Sounds so good and i can’t wait to read and review on 2 sites fingers crossed!

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  79. It sounds like an interesting book!

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  80. This looks like a fun read, loved the first book so I know this will be a good one!

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  81. Stacie Amelotte

    My daughter named our two miniature schnauzers, Romeo & Juliet. This series sounds like a must read for me. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  82. Did you consider using Buried in Buttercream as the title? My friend’s nickname is Jul. This book sounds like a tasty bite. Count me in.

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  83. Thank you Ellie for commenting and interacting with my readers.

    Contest is closed.

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