A Conversation with Winnie Johnson by Laura Bradford

Éclair and Present DangerFrom the time I was able to see over the edge of the countertop in my mom’s kitchen, baking fascinated me. My favorite picture books as a pre-reader were those that contained desserts. Once I started reading, I shunned the fiction books favored by my peers and devoured every cookbook I could find. In my teens, I pushed aside those same cookbooks to experiment with my own flavors and tastes, techniques and presentations.

Pretty soon, blue ribbons for my pies and cakes segued into money prizes and inclusion in several dessert-specific cookbooks and magazines. By the time I was done with college, my destiny was all but certain. A few stints in various bakeries in and around Ohio finally led me here, to Silver Lake, and my very own bakery, Delectable Delights.

Kind of a cool story, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, Nick Batkas (my money grubbing landlord), has decided Silver Lake is the next “it” town and so he’s raised the rent on the bakery to an amount I can’t pay even if I wanted to (which, between you and me, I’d pay in a heartbeat if it meant keeping my bakery open).

I was pretty much resigned to my fate when I received word that Gertrude Redenbacher, my late neighbor and dear friend, named me in her will. It’s not something I expected, mind you, but if her bequest could keep my bakery open. . .

I know, I know. Don’t count my chickens, right?


As you can probably guess by now, Gertie had different ideas. Instead of money, she left me her beloved cat, Lovey, and the vintage ambulance her late husband had been restoring prior to his death.

So now there’s an ambulance taking up space on my driveway and a cat who insists on sleeping in my bed (sans me).

Oh, and my bakery? It’s now closed.

But don’t count me out just yet, okay?

Éclair and Present Danger is the first book in the NEW Emergency Dessert Squad mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, June 2016.

The first book in the delicious new Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series from national bestselling author Laura Bradford.

With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow’s hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude’s late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery—a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow.

To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods—and an idea is born: dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business called the Emergency Dessert Squad. When she’s not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart’s killer—before she needs to call a real ambulance for the next victim. . .

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About the author
As a child, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and BradfordLa freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do or be anything else. Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey, and the upcoming Tobi Tobias Mystery Series. She is a former Agatha Award nominee, and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. A graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

For more information, visit: www.laurabradford.com or, for day to day stuff, you can find Laura on Facebook and occasionally on Twitter @bradfordauthor.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Éclair and Present Danger. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end June 15, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.


  1. I’ve been following the tour of this book and I have added it to my ever growing wish list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Now on my ” gotta read it” list. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway.

  3. I like the premise of this new series. I wasn’t aware of all the series written by Laura Bradford. I will be seeking out more of her books.

  4. I absolutely love, love, love first books in a series as that means there will be more to come! This sounds like a really exciting read. Love the awesome cover of the book too!!! Sure would love to win this new book!!!! Thank you dearest Dru and Laura for the chance to win!!!! God bless you both!!!

  5. This sounds like it’s going to be a great series. I can’t wait to start it! Thank you!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  6. I’ve seen this book advertised a lot in the past couple of weeks. I’d like to read it! Thanks for a chance to enter the contest.

  7. Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery sounds like a great series. to win a print copy of Éclair and Present Danger.

  8. What a unique premise! Would love to read this and see how it goes. Have not yet had the pleasure of reading this author. But if this is an indication of her imagination. I want to. So hoping. Thanks for the chance to do so sooner rather than later. Thank’s Dru for the intro

  9. Don’t enter me, I read it and just wanted to add my 2 cents and say what a fun read this is. I had many laugh out loud moments and the characters are great…you’re going to love Lovey, LOL.

  10. Laura Bradford provides her readers with great books to read. Thank you for including her newest book and new series on your blog. I have a sweet tooth and this book has me craving for something yummy. robeader53@yahoo.com

  11. This sounds so delicious, love eclairs! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  12. I love the idea of an Emergency Dessert Squad, and using the ambulance for delivery is brilliant! Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

  13. I have enjoyed other books by this author, and I can’t wait to read the first in this new series! A bakery is awesome, but a vintage ambulance too?! Very cool. Thanks Dru for bringing this to my attention. 🙂 Thanks to Laura for her generosity in giving away a copy of Eclair and Present Danger. 🙂

  14. I’m really looking forward to reading this new series. I really like all of Laura Bradford’s series. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  15. I have had my eye on this new series. It really sounds like a fun one! Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. Laura Bradford writes such “Yummy mysteries” . This series sounds like must read. Thanks for a chance to do so.

  17. Laura Bradford writes “Yummy mysteries” and this sounds like a must read series. Thanks for a chance to do so.

  18. A huge thank you to Dru for hosting me (and Winnie) and to all of you who have stopped by to comment. I hope you give this book a chance. I think you’ll find it a whole lot of fun.

  19. This promises to be another funny and interesting book in this series. Definitely looking forward to reading it.

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