It’s no secret that Jewel Bay, Montana, my Food Lovers’ Village, is based on the small NW Montana town where my husband, fondly known as Mr. Right, and I live, though I’ve borrowed heavily from other communities across the state. Our friends and neighbors have been tickled with their starring role, and play a game, guessing what businesses and characters inspire my fictional fun.
From time to time over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing images I call the Real Jewel Bay, as we lead up to the publication of BUTTER OFF DEAD on July 7 (Berkley Prime Crime, available for pre-order now, online or from your local indie).
I will confess, I’ve gotten some flak for creating a bakery that doesn’t really exist. I named it for my favorite bakery in the Pike Place Market in Seattle, long before I decided to set another mystery series in the Emerald City. It’s chief inspiration is the Park Avenue Bakery in Helena, where I indulge in strong coffee and terrific baked goods on my monthly visits to see my mother. The croissants are flaky, the cakes rich and buttery, the iced cookies every five-year-old’s dream. After trying their pizza dough, I’m thinking of adding it to my bakery’s menu.
But as Erin enjoys Wendy’s fabulous croissants and panini and you find yourself drooling as you read, remember that there are no calories on the page.
Do you have a favorite hometown bakery?