New baking mystery with character interview: Cake and Punishment

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In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder.
Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

Character Interview: Sophia Cummings

Sophia, welcome to Island Confidential! I understand baking has been more than just a hobby for you. Would you like to elaborate? 

I’ve been baking since I was a little girl. It was one thing that I had to myself that my mama, Bitsy, never liked to do. I started to use it as a way to get out from under her thumb because she wanted to put me in pageants, join the junior league and all sorts of clubs southern mamas dream of their daughters doing. I’m no debutante, so I think I used baking as a way to get back at her, which turned out to be my greatest accomplishment.

Which character in Cake and Punishment do you get along with the best?

Definitely Carter. Since I’ve been home, I’ve kinda gotten close to him and happy to say that he’s grown into a man from the scrawny boy I knew in high school. Plus, I might have a small attraction to him.

Is there anyone you don’t get along with so well?

Hhmmm…Bitsy. I love my mama. I do. But…she’s still has a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that I’m not going to be a homemaker. Plus she thinks I’m going to stay in Rumford, listen, I’m only here for a couple of weeks. That’s it.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author, Maymee Bell?

I rolled my eyes so hard when she told me that she’d enrolled in a baking and decorating class. She’s great at cooking, but baking….man oh man. I was impressed with some things she was able to do in class and really give her credit, but she needs to leave the baking to me.

What’s next for you?

I guess you’ll have to see!

About the Author

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all. This is her first SOUTHERN BAKER MYSTERY. Be sure to check out Tonya’s website for upcoming events and news and to sign up for her newsletter!

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