Most people in this world have something they’re good at—a talent or activity, so to speak. Maybe it’s cooking or crocheting, both of which my Grandma Rosa has mastered. Or perhaps it’s a sport, such as baseball or running, that my husband excels at. Me? I don’t have any impressive skills. Except for always being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

My name is Sally Muccio Donovan. I’ll be 30 years old soon and life is good. I’m the proud proprietor of Sally’s Samples in Colwestern, New York, but more importantly, I’m a new (blushing) bride. It’s not my first marriage but that’s another story, and one I don’t especially enjoy talking about.

Everyone seems to think that I’m a fabulous baker because I happen to own a novelty cookie shop. The truth of the matter is that my best friend Josie’s the culinary genius behind the buttercream icing and chocolate chips. Without her, I wouldn’t even have a bakery. Business usually slows down after the holidays, so you can imagine our excitement when big-time TV host Donna Dooley’s limousine stopped in front of the bakery on a wintry afternoon. She invited Josie and me to be guests on her popular cooking show, Someone’s in the Kitchen with Donna. Holy cow! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it’s bound to do wonders for my business, so of course we said yes. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

To our dismay, we soon discovered that Donna’s assistant is none other than Josie’s former rival from culinary school, Kelly Thompson. To say that these two don’t like each other is an understatement. Kelly publicly embarrassed Josie during a baking contest and years later she’s still trying to get under her crust—err, skin. Sorry, a little pun there. I should have declined the invite. Maybe my father could have given me an advertising spot on his death blog. Or he certainly could have squeezed in a couple of lines about my bakery during the commercial he and my mother are shooting for a local funeral home. Again, another story. . .

We decided to go ahead with the taping for the show. Donna wanted us to bake our homemade fortune cookies for her studio audience. The cookies are the shop’s trademark. Every customer gets a free one with their purchase. They get rolled in chocolate or Nutella with lots of colorful sprinkles. Armed with 400 of them and a couple of ominous messages to boot, we were ready to cause a stir on the show. Yes, another pun. Everything went great until Kelly and Josie got into a food fight on stage. Kelly’s the one who threw the first punch—I mean, bag of sugar. Before I knew it, both were rolling around on the stage’s floor with insults, flour, and eggs flying everywhere. They were even nice enough to invite me to participate—not that I had much choice. I guess they took the “let’s bake cookies” line a bit too far.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I went backstage after the taping and found a dead body, covered in sugar. Now I’m really scared. Josie didn’t do this, but everyone’s convinced she’s guilty. They’re going to put her in jail and then what will her four little boys do?

My best friend needs my help and I will never turn my back on her. But this a not so sweet mess that might end up burying me too and for the first time ever, one that I might not make it out of—alive. . .

You can read more about Sally’s latest adventure in Silenced by Sugar, the fifth book in the “Cookies & Chance” mystery series.

Full-time baker and sometime-sleuth Sally Muccio is enjoying life as a new bride and only wishes that sales in her bakery would pick up. So when popular TV host Donna Dooley invites her and best friend, Josie, to be guests on Someone’s in the Kitchen with Donna, it’s the answer to their prayers. The pair is excited about the opportunity until they discover Donna’s new assistant is none other than Josie’s former nemesis from culinary school, Kelly Thompson.

Like cookies in a hot oven, temperatures rise, and their animosity escalates into a food fight during the taping—which then goes viral! But when a dead body is then discovered on the set, fingers immediately point to Josie, and Sal’s usual sassy partner is at a loss of how to defend herself. Sal’s world is once again plunged into chaos as she attempts to keep her friend out of jail, control a blast from the past that threatens to harm her marriage, and keep her crazy parents at bay as they film a commercial for a funeral home. Already knee deep in dough, Sal discovers a possible link between the current murder and an unsolved one from the past. But she’ll have to work fast because a killer is on her trail and determined to silence Sal. . .forever.

Recipes included!

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win copy of Silenced by Sugar, either Kindle/Nook (open to everyone) or print (U.S. residents only), winner’s choice. The giveaway will end January 18, 2018. Good luck everyone!

About the author
Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York real estate and the Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) culinary mysteries.

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