Saturday, August 31, 2013

Review and Giveaway: If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion

If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion (Country Cooking School Mystery - Book 3) by Paige Shelton

Publication Date: 08/06/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 042525223X
ISBN-13: 978-0425252239

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Paige Shelton on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

If Fried Chicken Could Fly (2012), If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance (2012), If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


At Gram’s Country Cooking School, Isabelle “Betts” Winston and her grandmother share their home-style culinary secrets. But what they keep to themselves are the secrets of Broken Rope, a quiet little Missouri town, that isn't nearly as quiet as it seems...
A fresh school year begins as Gram and Betts anxiously await the arrival of their new crop of students. But their enthusiasm is thwarted when a stranger named Freddie O’Bannon arrives and claims to have proof that he was accepted to the school despite what is in their files. And when the ghost of Cylas Gent, a young man who might have a romantic past with Gram, also appears, there are suddenly two mysteries demanding their attention.
But just as Gram and Betts start sifting through the past, one of their new students is murdered. Does the seemingly sweet Freddie O’Bannon have something sinister to hide, or are Gram’s ghosts trying to teach her a lesson? Either way, it’s up to the country cooks to catch a killer before another living soul gets burned.


Paige Shelton's Country Cooking School series is a cozy series with a paranormal twist. If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion is the third book in the series and features Shelton's razor sharp wit and overall knowledge of farm to table cooking concepts. The heroine's ability to talk to those living and dead adds a paranormal element that is both entertaining and insightful. Readers who love a little romance with their mysteries will not be disappointed with this one, as one of the love interests could be a ghostly cowboy! 

Paige Shelton has done a remarkable amount of research for the titles in the Country Cooking School series as well as her Farmers Market series. One thing is for sure... Shelton knows food. She is able to describe food and add it into her stories like a master. When she writes about certain dishes readers find themselves almost salivating. Her descriptions are just that realistic. I love the fact that the author has chosen something that is obviously important to her to write about. I just don't think someone who couldn't cook, could write about food that well. 

As always, I love a cozy with a paranormal twist and this one really hits the spot. The entire series is based on the fact that Betts and her grandmother have a knack for talking to those alive and dead. The dead seek them out and ask for help solving mysteries from the past and even help solve some current crimes as well. The cemetery out back, doesn't seem like a scary place with this kind of gift. I like the way that Shelton uses this aspect of the series to give the reader books that include more than one mystery at a time. Double the fun!

If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion is a clever mystery that will have readers trying to solve the crime right along with the book. I liked the return of the ghostly cowboy from the first book in the series. He added a certain amount of romance that was completely unexpected. Betts and Gran end up trying to solve not only the current murder of one of their cooking school students, but a murder from the past that is tied to Gran's early girlhood. It was fun to learn more about Gran's life and the earlier days of Broken Rope. 

I loved the fact that Shelton has also added a new paranormal element in this book as well. She throws in the possibility of time travel as a way to help Betts solve the crime involving the bakery. Sometimes I think authors add to many of these kinds of elements and that takes away from the overall effect. But that doesn't seem to be the case with this one. Shelton wrote this aspect of the story in such a way that it seems almost natural that Betts' abilities are changing and getting stronger. It added so many new possibilities for readers who enjoy this kind of book. 

If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion is probably one of my favorite books by Shelton and I think readers will be really pleased with the direction the series seems to be going. It's one of those series' that has you waiting with baited breath for the next book to come out. A wonderful addition to an intriguing and ghostly series.

If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion is available NOW from your favorite bookseller. 

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag! 

About the Author:

Paige Shelton is also the author of the national bestselling Farmers’ Market Mysteries. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and son. When she’s up early enough, one of her favorite things is to watch the sun rise over the Wasatch Mountains. 

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of If Bread Could Rise to the Occasion by Paige Shelton.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, September 14th.

1. Please leave a comment describing a favorite farm to table recipe.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Brooke Showalter said...

I can't believe I haven't heard of this series before! It sounds wonderful. My favorite farm-to-table type recipe is getting fresh potatoes and herbs at the farmer's market and making roasted potatoes. Yum!

Linda Kish said...

I am not really a cook so I don't have many recipes. My sister is always giving me artichokes that she grows and I cook them but no recipe needed. (She also tries to pawn off her zucchini but I usually say no. I found a recipe for chocolate chip cookies with zucchini in them I might try next time)

traveler said...

My favorite farm to table recipe involves eggplant, zucchini, basil, tomatoes and is wonderful for summertime outdoor parties. ratatouille.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Karen B said...

Corn on the cob with a salad of greens, tomatos, cucumbers and onions. YUM!

Charlotte said...

From our garden to the table, corn, tomatoes. Love corn on the cob with butter. You can't beat a simple plain tomato sandwhich.

Sue Farrell said...

Corn on the cob can't be beat for a farm to table dish at our house.

Angela J said...

Caprese salad made with fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden and slice up some mozzarella...yum!

Carol N Wong said...

I read "If Fried Chicken Could Fly" and got hooked on the cowboy ghost.

My favorite farm to table recipet is Tomatoes Bread. I grew up in the Midwest and we had a lot of those recipes. Last week we drove up to see my brother and visit Amish Country. We went to an Amish buffet and they had stewed tomatoes bread with some right seasoning. Now I am kicking myself for not asking if I could have the recipe.


Anonymous said...

Love fresh corn on the cob. And large beef stake tomatoes.

Rita Wray said...

I grew up on a farm and it is wonderful to go outside and pick a beautiful tomato to add to the evening meal. All the vegetables taste better when you grow them yourself.


My Recent Favorite Books said...

I grew up on a dairy farm, and we had corn and wheat fields, I enjoyed having corn on the cob for dinner!

I think this series really sounds interesting!

NoraA said...

I only have one farm to table recipe. I get sweet onion, white mushrooms, baby bellas, and one or to of whatever else is in season. I take one Chorizo sausage and brown it in a large pan. Then I add the veggies and saute them in the fond till it flavors them, add extra firm tofu to the dish and let that also pick up the flavors of the sausage. I serve her her dinner and then have the rest of it with my browned Chorizo sausage.

bn100 said...

fresh baked potatoes

Rachelle21 said...

I like fresh from the farm corn. Just plain as corn on the cob or in chicken corn chowder that Canoe Camp Church of Christ makes.

Mary V said...

My favorite farm to table is roasted beets. I love being able to get golden beets and candy stripe beets at the farmer's market. I roast them in the oven for an hour in olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Just delicious!

Unknown said...

Probably the simplest thing I do with garden vegetables is fried green tomatoes. Slice, season, dip in egg wash, dredge in flour/cornmeal, and fry. We love our fried green tomatoes!

Carol M said...

In the same dish I roast potatoes, zucchini, onions and green peppers. I mix them with either olive oil or an Italian dressing.

lag123 said...

I love summer squash casserole.
lag110 at mchsi dot com

Nancy said...

I would say corn on the cob since we're experiencing problems with the wind and our corn this year, it's on my mind more. With a slab of butter close by. BTw, our grand kids love it when we have it. Expeccially the littlest one.

Linda said...

Love this series! So glad the next one is out! Favorite farm to table. Fried okra, green tomatoes, sliced potatoes, onions- all in one large cast iron skillet like my grandmother used to make to go with her ham and red-eye gravy! And fresh baked cornbread if we were lucky!! Of course, we don't eat this meal often. :(
Thanks for the giveaway chane.

Theresa N. said...

Fresh corn grilled in the husky.
Theresa N